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More COVID-related deaths reported on the Big Island

Two more deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported on the Big Island.

According to an update provided by Hilo Medical Center on Wednesday, one death occurred Tuesday afternoon. The patient had “significant, underlying health issues.”

This was the hospital’s first COVID-related death not associated with a cluster of cases at neighboring Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home.

Additionally, the Hilo veterans home reported another death related to the novel coronavirus late Tuesday, bringing the total number of deaths there to 10. That resident also had significant underlying health issues.

A total of 63 residents and 22 employees at the veterans home have tested positive for the virus since late August. Of those, 14 residents and two employees have recovered.

According to an update on the Yukio Okutsu website, it is thought the virus entered the facility through an asymptomatic staff member exposed in the community and possibly through a resident exposed at an outside dialysis appointment.

Staff and residents have so far been tested multiple times, with the most recent round of tests on Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, there were 14 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized at Hilo Medical Center, including four in the hospital’s intensive care unit and 10 in its isolated COVID-19 unit.

One additional employee tested positive for the virus. Six employees from various departments have tested positive, according to the HMC update. Those employees have been sent home to isolate and contact tracing and testing were conducted.

No updates were immediately available Wednesday in regard to cases reported in employees at Life Care Center of Hilo and Hale Anuenue Restorative Care Center.

Hawaii County Civil Defense, however, reported Wednesday morning that testing of all staff and residents at both facilities was completed and all results at that time were negative.

Retesting is now being scheduled at both facilities as part of a comprehensive testing plan, according to Civil Defense.

Email Stephanie Salmons at
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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