Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Kona Community Hospital Confirms Two New Cases of COVID-19

July 15, 2020, 4:17 PM HST
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Two more employees have been diagnosed with coronavirus at Kona Community Hospital.

KCH confirmed the news in a press release Wednesday afternoon. The new cases bring the total number of confirmed cases at the hospital to three. All employees are quarantined at home, the release said.

The hospital will hold an on-site COVID-19 testing clinic Thursday to test all hospital staff for potential exposure at the hospital. Testing is mandatory for KCH and affiliated employees, physicians, and any contractors working in the hospital. The testing is not open to the public.

Hospital leaders and the KCH infection prevention department contacted Dr. Scott Miscovich of the Premier Medical Group Hawai‘i to help conduct a pop-up testing site for staff, the release said.

Broad-scale testing of all staff is a proactive measure to provide an immediate, accurate snapshot of personnel who may be potentially exposed to the COVID-19 virus. The pop-up model is the approved best practice for facilities that have identified COVID19 positive staff, KCH said.

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A secondary testing date is being coordinated for later in the weekend to accommodate screening of hospital families and ‘ohana, hospital visitors, and discharged patients who may be concerned about potential exposure while at the hospital.

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“No one is exempt,” said KCH’s acting CEO Jay Kreuzer. “We’re conducting testing on all employees because it the right thing to do. It is the best way to ensure the safety of our staff, our patients, and our community.”

A traveling physician at Ka‘ū Hospital was also diagnosed with COVID-19 last week. Contact tracing tests have not yet identified any new cases connected to the physician.

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