Big Island Coronavirus Updates

N. Hawaiʻi Community Hospital Adjusts Visitor Policy to 1 Vaccinated Person Per Patient

By Tiffany DeMasters
September 8, 2021, 6:30 AM HST
* Updated September 7, 6:41 PM
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Queenʻs North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital (QNHCH) will allow one visitor per patient upon proof of vaccination, starting Wednesday, Sept. 8.

QNHCH spokesperson Lynn Scully said this new policy is a change from no visitors at the hospital. Visitors must be over 18 years of age and are required to have had their final dose of an FDA-EUA COVID-19 vaccination, providing proof with a vaccination card or an electronic copy.

“We recognize the importance of family in the healing process and believe we can safely support a more patient-centered care environment by allowing a vaccinated visitor who has also undergone our screening process,” said QNHCH President Cindy Kamikawa.

Scully said the decision to change the policy allows for family members to visit their loved ones. They chose proof of vaccination over providing a negative COVID test because vaccinations are free whereas testing could potentially get expensive.

“Also, you would have to time your testing to when your family members are in the hospital,” Scully added, noting the vaccine requirement is easier.

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Scully said by making visitor vaccinations mandatory, the hospital can bring family members into the facility safely.

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“If we couldnʻt, we wouldnʻt,” she said. “We know families are going to be very, very happy.”

This new policy, Scully said, brings the Waimea hospital in line with the rest of Queen’s hospital campuses.

It’s a little extra work to get them (visitors) in here, but they can now, so it’s a great thing,” Scully said.

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QNHCH visiting hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visitors are required to wear a surgical mask over their nose and mouth at all times and no eating or drinking is allowed. Out-of-state or international visitors must also present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result.

Limited exceptions may be made in certain situations such as pediatric or maternity patients and end-of-life care; additional screening will be required.

It is unknown how many COVID-19 patients are currently being treated at QNHCH.

Scully said officials canʻt provide data because the numbers are small.

“Because our hospital numbers are small and the community small it could be privacy violation,” she said.

Scully did say the hospital has open beds and they make staffing adjustments as needed. QNHCH continues to offer testing as well as vaccinations and monoclonal antibody tests.

Click here for Kona Community Hospital’s visitor policy. Click here for Hilo Medical Center’s visitor policy.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.
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