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Kohala Hospital Undergoes Deep Clean Following News of Lt. Gov’s Positive COVID-19 Test

September 13, 2020, 6:00 AM HST
* Updated September 12, 8:59 PM
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Lt. Gov. Josh Green. PC: Office of the Governor

Employee and patient COVID-19 testing and infection prevention deep clean protocols are underway at Kohala Hospital following the news of emergency room physician, Josh Green’s positive COVID-19 test.

Lt. Gov. Green announced that he had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on Friday evening. He was on staff in the Kohala Hospital emergency department on September 5-7.

Also on Friday evening, hospital administrator, Gino Amar, contacted the 11 emergency department patients who had been treated by Green during his weekend shifts. Patients were informed of the situation and provided the opportunity to get a COVID test at the hospital.

Currently, 17 employees and nine patients have received a test for coronavirus. The results are pending.

Earlier Friday, upon learning that Green was being tested for COVID, hospital personnel conducted a thorough deep clean of the hospital’s emergency department. A deep clean is a more thorough process that includes extensive cleaning of beds, equipment and fixtures to reduce the risk of infections spreading.

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Kohala’s protocol calls for deep clean of the emergency department twice daily, and after every potential COVID patient discharges. High touch surfaces are cleaned a minimum of four times daily.

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Saturday morning, the physicians’ cottage, which is home to traveling doctors at Kohala Hospital also received a deep cleaning.

Green and his staff did not go into the long-term care areas of the hospital at any time over the weekend.
Amar commended Kohala Hospital staff for their teamwork in initiating infection control as well as employee and patient testing plans, saying their response, “was fast, efficient, and done with maximum urgency.”

Kohala Hospital established its Incident Command Team (ICT) during the early days of the COVID pandemic. The ICT established protocols to protect patients and staff, which align with CDC guidelines for Critical Access Hospitals. To name a few:

  • Incident Command Team meetings to assess readiness, and review and revise COVID-19 Management Plan as needed.
  • Infection Control policies that align with CDC and the Hawaii Department of Health best practices.
  • No visitor policy.
  • On-going, rigorous employee education empowering employees with the knowledge and skills to protect themselves, their families and the community.
  • Daily staff temperature and symptoms screenings.

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