Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Hilo Veterans Home to Receive Hundreds of Thousands in COVID Relief

April 3, 2021, 2:00 PM HST
* Updated April 3, 1:39 PM
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The Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo will receive at least $600,000 in estimated federal funding under the American Rescue Plan Act and December’s COVID relief law. This new funding will go toward upgrading its facilities and supporting its continued operations.

“Last fall, Yukio Okutsu was understaffed and ill equipped to stop a deadly COVID outbreak,” said US Senator Brian Schatz. “This new federal funding will help the home upgrade its facilities and ensure its workers remain on the payroll so that it can keep its residents healthy and safe.”

This funding comes from a federal fund designated for grants to support each state’s share of total veteran residents in nursing home and domiciliary care. As the only state veterans home in Hawai‘i, Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home will receive at least $428,000 in new federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act and an additional $172,741.20 from the COVID relief package signed into law in December. The state will also receive funding to deploy strike teams to respond to outbreaks at long-term care facilities.

During a deadly outbreak of the virus at the Yukio Okutsu facility in September 2020, from which dozens of residents ultimately died, Senator Schatz called for and secured federal intervention and a change in management for the home.

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