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September 05, 2020

Tulsi: Protect our healthcare workers

The NBA and NHL test their players weekly or even daily. But frontline healthcare workers in our state are being refused when they seek testing to keep themselves and their patients safe. Even those who are caring for COVID-19 patients are not getting tested on a regular basis, if at all.

This is insane. I’ve spoken to nurses and healthcare workers who know they’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19, and try to get tested, only to be rejected unless they are actively sick and showing symptoms themselves. It is mind-boggling that hospital management is doing this, knowingly putting patients and healthcare workers at risk, given the fact that over 40% of people who have COVID-19, and are infectious, have no symptoms at all.

If that wasn’t bad enough, there are some hospitals in Hawaii who are assigning the very same healthcare workers to care for both COVID and non-COVID patients, therefore increasing the risk and likelihood of spreading the virus.

Governor Ige and his Department of Health need to mandate total separation of COVID patients and their healthcare providers in our hospitals, mandate weekly testing of all healthcare workers, and ensure any healthcare worker who wants a test can get it.

There is no excuse for anything else.  In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, and keep our healthcare workers and patients safe, providing tests for all who want them is necessary.  

Mahalo, Tulsi

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