Hale Nani COVID cluster rises to 12, contained in one unit

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — There are seven new COVID cases at Hale Nani Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, bringing the total to 12, seven residents and five workers. The doctor in charge of the testing says the infection is confined to one unit.

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Dr. Scott Miscovich says results from all residents have come in so that number will not be going up. But more testing will be done for both residents and workers to make sure the whole facility is free of the virus.

The state’s largest skilled nursing facility just underwent a massive testing process of 247 residents and several hundred workers. The result, six residents and four workers tested positive in the last two days. There were two others from previous days.

“All seven of those residents are in the same wing of the same floor so there is no broad widespread disease throughout the facility,” said Miscovich.

A statement from the company that owns nursing center says five residents are at the hospital. Miscovich says two of them were sent as a precautionary measure and are in stable condition. The others isolated at Hale Nani aren’t showing any symptoms.

“You wouldn’t think anything was wrong with them, they’re just completely normal, asymptomatic. But they will be monitored closely,” he said.

Health officials say residents in nursing homes have the highest fatality rate in the country. So extra precautions are being taken to keep them safe. Miscovich says all residents will be aggressively screened for any symptoms.

“If they even have any fatigue or any change of mental status, or are they sleeping too much, we’re retesting them. We’re not gonna take any chances,” he said.

Workers in the unit where the infection occurred are also confined to that area, with everyone wearing personal protective equipment. He says those who tested positive will be tested again on Saturday. And the whole staff and all residents will also be tested next week.

“The way you manage a cluster is you need to go two consecutive weeks with zero new cases,” said Miscovich.

And because nursing home residents are so vulnerable, he says testing at all facilities should be done regularly, even before any cases are reported.

“At this stage, it should be a minimum of monthly. And then as we go into the opening of tourism, we should start thinking about our frontline tourism workers,” he said.

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