Hilo Veterans Home Reports 10th Coronavirus-Related Death

September 9, 2020, 10:15 AM HST (Updated September 9, 2020, 10:15 AM)
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ICU nurses Tiffany Martinez and Charlie Adler. PC: Hilo Medical Center

Coronavirus-related deaths on the Big Island reached double digits on Wednesday, as Hilo Medical Center (HMC) reported the county’s 10th fatality. All 10 deaths are connected to the COVID-19 outbreak at the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home in Hilo.

“Prayers and condolences from the island’s people go out to the families,” Hawai‘i County Civil Defense wrote in an email. “No words can express our sadness.”

As of Tuesday, a total of 59 residents and 20 employees at the state-run veterans home had been diagnosed with coronavirus since the outbreak began. Three residents are currently hospitalized at HMC, while 33 are being cared for in the home’s dedicated COVID unit. Fourteen residents and one employee are now considered recovered.

HMC added that 14 people in total were hospitalized at the facility Tuesday, including five in the intensive care unit (ICU).

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In efforts to control the spread of coronavirus on the Big Island, increased testing will continue across the county. There are two scheduled test sites Wednesday, one in Kona at Keauhou Shopping Center and another in Ka`u at the Pahala Gym. Residents and staff will also be tested Wednesday at the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home.

S&G Labs has completed testing of all staff and residents at the Life Care Center of Hilo and Hale Anuenue Restorative Care Center. At this date, all test results are negative. Retesting is now being scheduled in both facilities as part of a comprehensive testing plan.

The Hawai‘i County Police Department will continue its enforcement of the preventative policies of wearing face coverings, social distancing, and limiting gatherings. While on patrol, officers will provide face coverings to people they encounter who do not have one.

An `ohana food service will be held Wednesday in Hilo at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. Distribution begins at 10 a.m.

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