Big Island Coronavirus Updates

State’s COVID-Related Death Toll Jumps to 120

September 18, 2020, 10:47 AM HST
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Hawai‘i’s COVID-related official death toll now stands at 120 after 12 fatalities at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo and one fatality on O‘ahu were added to the official toll.

A total of 18 deaths linked to the coronavirus cluster at the home had been confirmed by Hilo Medical Center officials as of Friday morning, meaning the state’s death toll is likely to jump again in the coming days.

Of those deaths at the home added to the statewide tally Friday, 11 were men and one was a woman, all of whom were in the 70- to 80-year age group. All suffered from underlying health conditions. Ten of the residents passed away at the home and two others were hospitalized, according to the state. Reporting on these deaths was delayed due to pending medical reports required for verification and classification of deaths as COVID-related.

Three separate assessments into the infections and deaths at the facility were initiated and are completed or near completion. One was conducted by a team from the S. Veterans Administration (VA), a second by the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), and a third was an unannounced inspection of infection control measures conducted by the state Department of Health Office of Health Care Assurance (OHCA).

The findings and recommendations in the two assessments conducted by the VA and the Incident Command Medical Support Team (HI-EMA, ESF-8) have been transmitted to the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home and are being prepared for release. It is expected these reports will be ready soon, the state said. The DOH/OHCA unannounced inspection report is being completed Friday and will be transmitted to the facility before being shared with the public.

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The 12th death added to the statewide toll Friday was that of a 70 to 79-year-old O‘ahu man with underlying health conditions who was hospitalized at the time of his death.

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