13 Hilo Veterans Now Dead Due to COVID-19

September 14, 2020, 5:28 PM HST (Updated September 14, 2020, 5:28 PM)
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Another veteran from Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home has succumbed to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 13 as of Monday afternoon.

Avalon Health Care Group, a Utah-based company that manages the Hilo home, reported a total of 68 residents and 30 employees have now tested positive for the coronavirus. Four of the residents are hospitalized at Hilo Medical Center and 34 are being cared for at the veteran’s home COVID designated area.

Seventeen residents and five employees have recovered since the outbreak was reported in August.

HMC is also seeing an uptick in COVID-positive patients — six in ICU and 12 in the COVID unit. According to HMC officials, among those hospitalized is a long-term care resident on dialysis at an extended care facility. This individual tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.

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The resident tested negative for COVID-19 four days ago on Sept. 10. All staff, who had been tested last week per Centers for Medicare and Medicaid guidelines, were negative as of Sept. 9.

After contact tracing, no staff required home quarantine due to extensive and consistent use of PPE, HMC officials reported Monday. As a standard precaution, all staff and residents are being tested due to this resident’s positive result, results pending.

Two residents receiving dialysis care, and the COVID-positive resident’s current roommate have been Rapid ID and PCR tested, results pending.

Hilo Medical Center has paused admissions to its Extended Care Facility until this situation is resolved.

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