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KCH Reports Second-Highest Number of COVID Hospitalizations Statewide

November 2, 2020, 4:38 PM HST
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Kona Community Hospital registration entryway. PC: KCH

Kona Community Hospital (KCH) currently has the second-highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide behind Queen’s Medical Center, officials confirmed this afternoon.

KCH is currently treating seven people with the disease — one in ICU, five in the Med Surg acute care unit and one in the OB unit. One ventilator is currently in use by one of the patients.

Judy Donovan, spokeswoman for KCH, said the hospitalizations are not concerning at this point as they have been preparing for COVID-positive patients since March by creating additional negative pressure rooms.

KCH reviews its hospital plan three times a week. The staff monitors the personal protective equipment (PPE) daily as well as has ongoing training and education on how to maintain the highest level of infection prevention skills for clinical and other staff who work in direct patient care.

Additionally, the hospital has set up and prepped an overflow tent in the parking lot adjacent to the ER.

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“We’re still not considering this an influx because it didn’t hit us all at once,” Donovan explained of the hospitalizations. “The concerning part is that there seems to be community spread.”

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Donovan said they want people to stay on their guard by washing their hands, wearing a mask, having gatherings of no more than 10 people and physical distancing.

The last death reported at KCH was on Oct. 28, bringing the number of COVID fatalities to four at the Kona facility.

There were four new cases reported islandwide this afternoon with 353 active cases. The cumulative total for Hawai‘i County is 1,304, the second-highest number of infections in the state after O‘ahu.

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On the east side of the island, Hilo Medical Center is seeing infection cases leveling off with a consistent number of COVID hospitalizations of four to five, said HMC spokeswoman Elena Cabatu. As of this afternoon, HMC reported three individuals being treated for the virus in the facility’s 12-bed COVID unit.

Like Donovan, Cabatu continued to encourage community compliance to health regulations to stem the spread of COVID-19 as families prepare for the holiday season.

“This is decision time for people to remain vigilant or relax,” Cabatu said. “Otherwise we’re going to continue to have these waves of high and low numbers.”

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