Staff no-show over COVID-19 exposure concerns at Pearl City Nursing Home


UPDATE: Following the third round of testing at Pearl City Nursing Home, management confirmed with KHON2 on July 18, that one person tested positive for the virus. The cluster grows to 11.

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The doctor in charge of testing at the Pearl City Nursing Home said seven residents were placed at hospitals on Friday, July 17, not for complications but over safety concerns from the staff of the nursing home.

The cluster of COVID-19 cases at the facility grew from six to 10 this week, three workers and seven residents.

[RELATED: Mass testing continues at Pearl City Nursing Home after cluster grows]

Dr. Scott Miscovich, President of Premier Medical Group said the residents were placed in hospitals out of concerns from workers.

“This is a concern for the people of Hawaii, Pearl City Nursing Home is so concerned and frustrated that their staff is scared, they are not willing to work,” Dr. Miscovich said. “They cannot find any staff to come and cover to work in the quarantine zone.”

He does not blame the staff, he said. COVID-19 in nursing homes can be very contagious and it requires special care.

Although, these patients are not in need of hospital attention.

“None of them are in hospital condition worthy, they are all stable relatively but what else could we do?” Dr. Miscovich said. “There’s nowhere to send them and we can’t keep them there with no staff to attend them, so this is also taking up hospital beds.”

A spokesperson for Pearl City Nursing Home confirmed some staff has not shown up for work. The nursing home has also received phone calls from upset family members over their relatives working in a facility with known COVID-19 cases.

The nursing home said family members of the residents with COVID-19 were notified before they were moved.

Dr. Miscovich said the state should establish quarantine facilities for patients at nursing homes who test positive for the virus.

“This is a very loud and clear notice to the state of Hawaii, that we need, as I have been saying for six weeks and other doctors have, too.” Dr. Miscovich said. “We need a skilled nursing and a senior living quarantine zone for the Island of Oahu.”

KHON2 reached out to Governor David Ige’s office for comment on any plans to establish a quarantine facility to treat and house COVID-19 patients.

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