Two More Residents of Hilo Veterans Home Die After Contracting COVID

September 14, 2020, 6:00 AM HST (Updated September 13, 2020, 9:08 PM)

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Hilo Medical Center (HMC) on Sunday said two more patients from the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home died after being treated for COVID-19, bringing the death toll linked to the cluster at the home to 12.

Four residents of the home are currently hospitalized at HMC, while 33 are being treated in the home’s COVID-designated area. A total of 66 residents and 28 employees at the home had tested positive for coronavirus as of Sunday at 4 p.m. Of those, 17 residents and five employees were considered recovered.

A Veterans Affairs healthcare team has been deployed to address the outbreak at the home, the management of which the state has contracted to Avalon Healthcare. Big Island Mayor Harry Kim on Saturday called for the replacement of Avalon in its administrative role.

A total of 18 total COVID-positive patients were hospitalized at HMC as of Sunday afternoon, including six in the intensive care unit (ICU).


All staff who interacted with a COVID-positive patient were tested and are negative for the virus, according to an update from the hospital on Sunday. On Sept. 11 and Sept. 12, 154 employees were tested as a part of the hospital’s ongoing efforts of focused surveillance testing. All results came back negative, HMC said.

One death related to COVID-19 occurred at the hospital on Tuesday, Sept. 8. This death is unrelated to the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, HMC said.


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