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Life Care Center of Hilo releases statement regarding COVID-19

by Thunda

Life Care Center of Hilo continues to battle and manage COVID-19 and, regrettably, lost another beloved resident Saturday. Our associates shed tears inside our facility, and our hearts are broken. They were loved by our associates who cared for them and a blessing in the lives of the many people they touched during their time at Life Care Center of Hilo. Our condolences go out to the families, who we will support in every way possible.

There was one additional resident and associate case Saturday. Through Saturday, Life Care Center of Hilo has 23 resident cases and three active associate cases.

Our team is following all federal guidelines for infection control while testing all residents and associates twice a week. Below is a timeline of events at Life Care Center of Hilo as well as some additional precautions we have been taking and will continue to do.

  • Sunday, Sept. 20 – Retesting of all residents was completed. All results were negative.
  • Monday, Sept. 21 – Retesting of all associates was completed. All results were negative.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 23 – Received notification that a non-direct care associate tested positive in the community. All associates and resident family members were notified about the positive test result.
  • Thursday, Sept. 24 – We have NO ACTIVE COVID-19 residents in the facility. Altogether, we have had four associates who have tested positive. One has recovered and returned to work. The other three are still recovering at home and will not return to work until the CDC’s guidelines for returning to work after COVID-19 have been met.
  • Friday, Sept. 25 – We tested an additional 18 staff members. These tests were in addition to our weekly testing. All results came back negative. However, the lab did call and inform us that a resident had tested positive. The resident was in receiving care in the yellow zone in our facility and was immediately moved to the red zone, where the resident is receiving care. The red zone is an isolated COVID-19 unit with a dedicated staff.
  • Saturday, Sept. 26 – We retested 17 associates and 4 residents. All 17 associates tested negative for COVID-19, but two of the resident tests came back positive. The two residents were immediately moved to the red zone in our facility, where they are isolated and receiving care from dedicated staff.
  • Sunday, Sept. 27 – Whole house testing of residents completed.
  • Monday, Sept. 28 – Whole house testing of staff completed.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 29 – Results from staff and resident testing received. One resident has been hospitalized.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 30 – No changes to report.
  • Thursday, Oct. 1 – Whole house testing of residents and staff. The facility received seven additional iPads and expects to resume video chats for residents and family members as soon as possible. We understand the importance of these visits and how important they are to the peace of mind of the residents and their families.
  • Friday, Oct. 2 – 10 new resident cases identified. All residents are now in our red COVID-19 unit receiving care and treatment. Two residents transferred to Hilo Medical Center for proactive treatment. One resident has, unfortunately, died; we are heartbroken and extend our condolences. One associate recovered. No new associate cases.
  • Saturday, Oct. 3 – One new resident case and one new associate case identified. The resident is receiving care in our red COVID-19 unit. The associate is recovering at home. Another resident, unfortunately, died; we are all grieving and extend our condolences.

Current total of active cases as of Oct 3 at 10 p.m.:

  • 23 resident cases: 16 active resident cases at the facility, with four receiving proactive treatment at Hilo Medical Center. Two resident deaths at facility. One resident receiving care at another facility.
  • Seven associate cases: three active associate cases; four associates fully recovered.

Testing information:

We will continue testing staff and residents twice per week until further notification. Our residents are also monitored multiple times day and night for any symptoms or concerns. And every associate is screened when they arrive for work and when they leave, including checking temperature and monitoring for any symptoms or concerns.

In addition to using PCR testing (nasal swab test), we use a point-of-care rapid test for anyone with symptoms and receive results in 15 minutes. Any positive antigen test is confirmed with a follow up PCR test.

Additional precautions:

(This list is not all-inclusive – it is an overview in an effort to show how hard we are working to protect our residents and associates.)

  • Utilizing an electrostatic sprayer to disinfect high-touch areas
  • Limiting elevator use to two people at a time
  • Using droplet precautions in all yellow and red zones
  • All associates have been trained in the use of PPE, which includes gowns, gloves, masks and eye protection
  • Break rooms set up for appropriate social distancing

We are ever so grateful for the support and commitment of our associates, Hilo Medical Center, Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management Coalition, Healthcare Association of Hawaii, our local health department, the Mayor and his office, and others who are assisting and supporting our efforts. We continue to proactively take on the challenges of this pandemic, and our resolve remains to provide a safe environment and peace of mind for each individual under our stewardship.

Mark Mann, executive director

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