Schatz Statement On VA Review Of COVID-19 Outbreak At Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home In Hilo

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) released the following statement on a new report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that details serious infection control issues that contributed to the deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo. The VA mobilized a team earlier this month to assess and support the veterans home after Schatz called for immediate assistance as COVID-19 cases and deaths continued to rise at the facility.

“This report makes clear that Avalon did not take the steps necessary to protect its residents and staff. We have known all along that nursing homes and their residents were particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, so it is infuriating to see that basic infection control practices were not in place months after the pandemic began. Avalon must take immediate action to address the recommendations of this report to ensure the safety of the veterans and staff at the State Veterans Home.

“My staff and I will continue to closely monitor this outbreak and help provide any additional federal resources that are available.”