(BIVN) – Two more deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, bringing the total number of resident deaths at the facility to twelve.
According to an update from Hilo Medical Center citing a Sunday report by facility operator Avalon Healthcare, a total of 66 residents and 28 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak began.
Four residents were hospitalized at Hilo Medical Center as of yesterday. A total of 33 residents were being cared for at the veterans home’s COVID designated area.
Avalon says 17 residents and 5 employees have recovered.
The 12 deaths at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home bring the total number of deaths related to COVID-19 on Hawaiʻi island to thirteen (13).
Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim held a news conference on Saturday, saying that the State should “immediately suspend the present administration” of the veterans home, “until a review is completed, and in the meantime replace the administrators to correct all the wrongs, now.”
In a Sunday update posted to the veterans home website, Avalon wrote:
As you are likely aware, the state and federal VA also visited last week. We appreciate their support and collaboration. Please know that our staff has been working tirelessly to care for our residents. Being in the spotlight and so heavily criticized by the media and public officials has certainly been tough on all of us. We greatly appreciate the love and aloha we have received from many of our family members and friends. COVID-19 has unfortunately hit the nation’s nursing homes the hardest as we care for the most vulnerable among us in a communal setting, which is supposed to be homelike and where residents retain rights and dignity.