No COVID-Positive Patients at HMC for First Time Since July

November 23, 2020, 4:59 PM HST (Updated November 23, 2020, 4:59 PM)
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For the first time in several months, zero COVID-positive patients are hospitalized at Hilo Medical Center, officials announced this afternoon.

HMC has had a steady stream of patients infected with COVID-19 since July. Many of the individuals they were treating were from Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home after a cluster in the facility impacted nearly all residents with dozens of them dying.

As HMC’s hospitalizations numbers dropped, Kona Community Hospital’s COVID-related cases increased. According to KCH officials on Monday, eight COVID-positive patients are being treated in Kona — one is in ICU and seven are in the Med Surg acute care unit.

Hawaii Island has seen a spike in coronavirus cases for the past few months. On Monday, the Big Island was reported to have 14 new cases with a cumulative total of 1,551.

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“Hawaii Island has also seen an increase in community caused cases of coronavirus,” Civil Defense reported in an email Monday. “Recent tests on Hawai‘i Island clearly show that the coronavirus spread is due to close gatherings especially of young people and of families.”

This past week, Civil Defense confirmed that of the 33 who tested positive, 14 were below the age of 25 and four were below the age of 10.

“This cluster of young people has been identified in the Hilo District,” Civil Defense stated.

In recent weeks, Civil Defense added, the majority of mainland states, including Alaska, are experiencing huge spikes, which are projected to get worse.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat. Tiffany is an award-winning journalist, receiving recognition from the Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists. Tiffany grew up on the Big Island and is passionate about telling the community’s stories.

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