Two Hilo (HI) Medical Clinics, Veterans Home Report New COVID-19 Cases

According to a report from the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, three employees and seven residents at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home have tested positive for COVID-19. The new cases come one day after two facility employees tested positive for the virus.

According to an update from the facility, two residents are under care at Hilo Medical Center, and five others are being treated at the facility who are now in isolation.

The staff members, who are self-isolating at home and won’t return to work until cleared, are part of a screening processes that occurs before they enter the facility. They are sent home if they report signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or any illness. Staff also wear appropriate personal protective equipment.

The initial staff member tested positive on August 22, followed by a second the following day, with a third positive occurring on Tuesday. The results of testing done August 23-24 are still pending.

A spokeswoman for the facility said a testing plan is still being worked out, but it will likely include testing all residents and staff in shifts every three days until no additional new positive cases are found.

Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said he believes this is the first incident of COVID-19 in a long-term care home on Hawaii Island. Other Hilo health care facilities are combating the virus.

In a post to its Facebook page on Monday, Bay Clinic said an employee of the Hilo Family Health Center had tested positive on August 22. The employee is now isolating at home.

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