32 COVID-Related Deaths Reported as of Sunday

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Two COVID-related deaths have been reported at Life Care Center in Hilo, bringing Hawai‘i County’s death toll to 32.

Two clusters identified last week — Life Care Center and University of Nations in Kona — have brought the number of COVID-19 cases on the Big Island to 810 as of Sunday. There are currently 12 people hospitalized at Hilo Medical Center for the virus — two in ICU, nine in the COVID unit and one in the extended care facility. One of Sunday’s reported COVID deaths was a member of the community who died at HMC.

“The high increase of new cases is of great concern and demonstrates the critical need of following the preventive polices of face coverings, distancing, and gatherings,” according to HMC officials Sunday. “Much of this increase is due to clusters at the University of Nations in Kona and the Life Care Center in Hilo.”

Life Care Center in Hilo

As of Sunday, active COVID cases included 23 residents and three associates. Two residents died over the weekend.


“Our associates shed tears inside our facility, and our hearts are broken,” LCC stated in a press release Sunday. “They were loved by our associates who cared for them and a blessing in the lives of the many people they touched during their time at Life Care Center of Hilo. Our condolences go out to the families, who we will support in every way possible.”

Officials report the employees at LCC are following all federal guidelines for infection control while testing all residents and associates twice a week.

The University of Nations in Kona

As of Sunday evening, University of the Nations Kona (UofNK) had 26 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus. Four of these cases are travel-related and 22 are due to the local Kona community spread. Travel-related cases were tested and isolated immediately upon arrival.


Targeted contact tracing has shown UofNK staff contracted COVID-19 from the ongoing community spread in Kailua-Kona. Once aware of possible exposure, the University immediately isolated all related individuals, rapid and PCR tested and suspended all in-person activities except for essential services.

Since September, the UofNK has been operating at a Safer at Home level. All classes and operational activities have been conducted through digital platforms.

“Mayor Harry Kim’s Office has requested today (Sunday) that we increase our internal alert level to Stay at Home, with all campus residents (staff and students) voluntarily self-isolating,” according to a UofNK press release. “Only essential workers such as food service and security will be allowed on campus.”

Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home


No new cases of COVID-19 have been identified at the veterans home among residents and the death toll remains at 27. A total of 71 residents and 35 employees tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak was reported in August.

Forty-six residents are currently at Yukio with none receiving care for COVID in the home. Two residents are currently hospitalized at HMC.

Forty-two residents and 35 employees have recovered from the virus.

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