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Schatz Statement On COVID-19 Outbreak At Veterans Home In Hilo

HONOLULU – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today released the following statement on the COVID-19 outbreak at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo. In May, Schatz called on Governor David Ige to step up efforts to prevent such outbreaks at nursing homes.

“The outbreak we are seeing at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home is heartbreaking. My staff and I are working with state and local officials to make sure they utilize all the federal help that’s available. The Department of Veterans Affairs is capable of doing even more, but we cannot be shy about asking them for help. We also need to focus on infection control best practices to contain this outbreak. The state should ask VA to share infection control specialists, provide additional testing, and continue to share PPE to get this under control. Residents of senior homes are some of the most vulnerable to COVID-19. That’s why it is also absolutely critical that the facility follows infection control guidelines and that the state dramatically expands testing at these facilities to continue to protect these vulnerable residents and their care workers.”