Big Island Coronavirus Updates

4 Patients Being Treated for COVID-19 at HMC

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Four Big Island residents are currently being treated for COVID-19 at Hilo Medical Center.

The residents, considered relatively young, caught the virus from recent outbreaks, community spread, and mainland and inter-island travel. Other members from their families have also gotten COVID. None were vaccinated, said Chad Shibuya, HMC’s Infection Prevention Director.

While cases of the virus are down from the peak experienced last August-September-October, Shibuya said, health workers are still seeing a steady stream of cases. As of today, out of 255 positive cases and 119 admissions at the hospital, none were vaccinated.

While getting a COVID vaccine is not a guarantee a person won’t get the virus, health workers are still encouraging it.

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“Even if you don’t think you need a COVID vaccine for yourself, consider getting it for those around you,” Shibuya said.

HMC has administered more than 46,000 Pfizer vaccines since Dec. 23, 2020. Early on in the pandemic the kūpuna were the most severely affected by the virus and many of them have been vaccinated.

Shibuya said the community has done a good job with prevention measures, keeping cases low, allowing us to care for our community without the added burden of COVID cases.

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“The community has also done a good job getting vaccinated, especially the older population, which is why we are not seeing many older cases,” Shibuya said. “It is the younger, unvaccinated group who are now becoming our patients. Similar to mask wearing, the COVID vaccine works best when everybody gets it.”

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