545 Kona Community Hospital employees test negative for COVID-19

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545 Kona Community Hospital employees test negative for COVID-19

By Laura Ruminski West Hawaii Today lruminski@westhawaiitoday.com | Sunday, July 19, 2020, 12:05 a.m.                                 


Kona Community Hospital said Saturday that all but three of the 548 COVID-19 tests administered to staff on Thursday have come back negative for the virus.

The other three tests remain pending, with two outstanding and still with the lab and the third under review, according to hospital spokesperson Judy Donovan. Those results will be reported when results are confirmed with the lab.

Additionally, KCH nursing tested all 43 inpatients on the same day as a precaution, Donovan said. All results were negative with the exception of one patient, whose status was previously reported.

“We are very pleased with today’s test results, and look forward to the final tests coming back from the lab.” said Interim Chief Nurse, Stephanie Irwin. “Our staff have trained diligently in best practices for infection prevention, and today’s results verify their level of commitment to providing safe care.”

Kona Community Hospital held the mandatory on-site COVID-19 testing clinic for all staff and affiliated employees, physicians and contractors working on campus after three employees tested positive for the virus. Dr. Scott Miscovich and the Premier Medical Group Hawaii operated the pop-up testing clinic for staff.

On Saturday, a pop-up testing clinic to screen hospital families, visitors and discharged patients as well community members concerned about potential COVID exposure was held on Saturday at the West Hawaii Civic Center.

Donovan said results of Saturday’s testing will not be available until at least Monday. An estimate on the number of persons who came to the event wasn’t available as of press-time Saturday.

In order to keep staff and patients safe and ensure that the hospital is “COVID-free,” KCH and Premier Medical Group Hawaii will conduct up to three additional on-site testing clinics. Additional testing, which is the “gold standard” for detection.

On Monday, all staff providing direct patient care will be retested because they are considered high risk. On Friday, all hospital personnel, affiliated staff, providers and contractors will be tested again.

Depending on results from those tests, additional testing may be conducted on July 30.

The hospital still has a no visitor policy in place with exceptions for OB, pediatrics and those receiving end-of-life care.