UPDATE – (1 p.m.) – The State of Hawaiʻi reported 114 new cases of COVID-19 statewide as of noon on Friday.
UPDATE – (11 a.m.) – There will be a jump in the total number of deaths with COVID-19 statewide at noon today, after twelve (12) deaths among residents of the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo have been confirmed and officially added to the state’s count. For weeks, the State’s total count for Hawaiʻi island remained at three (3) deaths, despite the reports coming from the County of Hawaiʻi and Hilo Medical Center on other deaths at the veterans home. “Reporting on these deaths was delayed due to pending medical reports required for verification and classification of deaths as COVID-19,” the Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Joint Information Center reported.
The 12 deaths at the Hilo veterans home include eleven (11) men and one (1) woman, all in the 70 to 80-year-old age group and with underlying health conditions, the State says.
The State’s official count for the number of deaths with COVID-19 at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home is now fifteen (15). However, the official count continues to lag. As of Friday morning, the County of Hawaiʻi reported there are now eighteen (18) deaths at the facility.
The situation at the veterans home is under investigation. According to the Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Joint Information Center:
Three separate assessments into the infections and deaths at the facility were initiated and are completed or near completion. One was conducted by a team from the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA), a second by the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), and a third, an unannounced inspection of infection control measures was conducted by the DOH Office of Health Care Assurance (OHCA).
The findings and recommendations in the two assessments conducted by the VA and the Incident Command Medical Support Team (HI-EMA, ESF-8) have been transmitted to the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home and are being prepared for release. It is expected these reports will be ready soon. The DOH/OHCA unannounced inspection report is being completed today and will be transmitted to the facility before being shared with the public.
An additional death with COVID-19, unrelated to the home, is also being reported today. The State says the death of a 70 to 79-year-old O‘ahu man, with underlying health conditions and who was hospitalized at the time of his death, brings the cumulative total of COVID-19 related deaths statewide to 120.
(BIVN) – From the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense on Friday morning:
On today’s update of COVID-19, the number of new active cases, on Hawaii Island, reported and monitored by the Department of Health is ten (10). At this date, for Hawaii Island, sixteen (16) are hospitalized. The Hilo Medical Center reports two additional deaths for a total of nineteen (19). Eighteen of the deaths are from the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Families of these Veterans.
To further support efforts at the Veterans Home, a fifteen person team from the Veterans Administration is at the facility to assist the staff and to support operations. A grateful thank you to the Federal and State Governments for their efforts to address the needs of the community at the Veterans Home.
For your information, an `Ohana food service is scheduled for today in Puna at the Pahoa Community Center. Distribution begins at 10:00 this morning. A Coronavirus drive-up test site is scheduled for Saturday in Hilo at the Afook-Chinen Auditorium parking lot. Please enter the site through the Kuawa St. entrance. Hours are from 9:00 in the morning ‘til 1:00 in the afternoon. Do know that the constant number of new active cases reflects the aggressive testing program that the County and private partners are conducting. Remember the purpose of testing is to identify positive cases as early as possible and in this way help stop the spread of the virus.
This is all our kuleana to make Hawaii Safe. Only we, together, can stop the spread of the virus to keep our family, friends, and neighbors safe.