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The Latest: 1 Death, 131 New Cases; LG Green Tests Positive; Schatz Critical Of Vets Home Operator

Lt. Gov.  Josh Green
Lt. Gov. Josh Green

Updated: 9/12/2020, 12:12 p.m.

The state Department of Health today reported 1 more death and 131 new cases, bringing the state death toll to 97 and the total number of cases to 10,588. 

There have now been 9,559 cases on Oahu, 572 on Hawaii Island, 373 for Maui County, and 58 on Kauai. Twenty-six residents were diagnosed out of state. Two cases were removed from Oahu cases due to updated information.

Yesterday recorded two deaths: a man and a woman, both from Oahu. The man was in his 70s, had no known medical conditions and died at home. The woman was in her 40s and had underlying health conditions and also died at her home. 

Free surge testing continues this weekend at various Oahu locations, including at Aloha Stadium and Ala Wai District Park, and is scheduled to wrap up Monday. Participants can walk-up or register at doineedacovid19test.com.

See the website for details on the locations and times for the testing sites.

Green tests positive for COVID-19

Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who provided frequent updates on the progress of the coronavirus in the state and an urgent voice in pressing for more state action to curb the virus, has himself tested positive for COVID-19.

On Instagram, an update from his office confirms he tested positive and states: “Lt. Gov. Green plans to continue his duties from his home as long as he’s feeling well. Dr. Green reports that he feels fine and plans to update friends and family as he goes through what thousands of Hawaii citizens are experiencing.”

The lieutenant governor received his results last evening and "is isolating safely in a bedroom at his home," according to the statement.

Yesterday, Green posted on his Instagram page that a member of his office had tested positive for the virus. He said the worker was informed yesterday morning.

All 14 members of his staff were set to be tested and quarantined, including administrative, executive and security detail employees.

Green, an emergency room physician at Kohala Hospital on the Big Island, had tested negative before his shift on Wednesday. But was tested again after the positive results for the office employee, with whom he was in close contact.

Schatz wants Hilo veterans home operator to take action as infections rise

The number of residents testing positive for COVID-19 at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo has risen to 66, with 27 employees also testing positive. The death toll stands at 10.

Four residents are hospitalized at the Hilo Medical Center and 35 are being cared for at the veterans home's COVID-designated area.

A federal team from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was scheduled to assess the facility's outbreak.

Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz had called for the examination on Sunday after criticizing the state and county's lack of speed in addressing what he called a public emergency.

In a letter dated yesterday to CEO Randy Kirton, he called on Avalon Health Center -- operator of the veterans home, Hale Nani Rehabilitation & Nursing Center and Avalon Care Center -- to improve its infection controls. 

"Given that outbreaks have occurred at all three of Avalon's facilities in Hawai‘i, I am alarmed that Avalon's facilities are not able to adequately protect its residents and staff," he said.

"Therefore, I urge you to immediately review the practices, and in particular the staffing and infection control practices, at your facilities in Hawai‘i and in other states to identify and resolve any deficiencies that could result in the spread of COVID-19."

Avalon Health Care could not be immediately reached for a response.

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