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Veterans Home Reports Another COVID-19 Death, New Cases

September 8, 2020, 4:15 PM HST
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The COVID-19 death toll at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home now stands at nine. All veterans who’ve died had significant, underlying health issues.

Avalon Health Care Group, the managing company of the Hilo facility, reported 59 residents and 20 employees have tested positive for the virus as of Tuesday. Fourteen veterans and one employee have recovered. Another resident has now been hospitalized at Hilo Medical Center, bringing the number to three.

Thirty-three residents are being cared for at the veteran home’s COVID designated area.

HMC is now treating 14 COVID-positive patients — five in ICU and nine in COVID Unit. Based on data collected from Aug. 28 through Sept. 2 data, HMC officials report Hawai‘i County has a positivity rate of 4.1%.

Center Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires long-term care facilities to COVID-19 test all staff. Testing begins this week for long term care staff in Hilo’s Extended Care Facility, Ka‘ū Hospital and Hale Ho‘ola Hamakua.

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If community positivity rate is below 5%, staff are required to test monthly. If community positivity rate exceeds 5%, staff are required to test weekly.

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