House Lawmakers Call for Robust Nursing Home COVID-19 Testing

June 23, 2020, 4:12 AM HST · Updated June 23, 4:12 AM
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Photo credit: Hawaii House Democrats

Representative John M. Mizuno, Chair of the House Health Committee, and Representative Rida Cabanilla, a registered nurse, are asking all nursing homes to comply with recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and have COVID-19 testing for all their residents.

As of Monday afternoon, there was one new case at the Hale Nani Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, which now has 15 confirmed cases: six healthcare workers and nine residents. As of Sunday, more than 500 residents and staff have tested negative, facility wide.

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DOH continues to investigate cases in care homes, including two additional cases in Kaneʻohe. In total, DOH says there are a total of eight cases associated with community care homes in three separate locations on O‘ahu. Investigations and weekly testing are ongoing at these sites

“It is no secret that our nursing home population, with older adults and many with underlying chronic medical conditions are at a highest risk of being infected by respiratory pathogens like COVID-19,” said Representative Mizuno. “With the recent outbreak of positive COVID-19 cases at nursing homes in Hawaiʻi, it is essential that we have nursing homes and community care homes align with CDC guidelines for testing their staff and patients for COVID-19. The testing will offer a much-needed layer of protection for our elderly and disabled.”

“We are in the middle of a pandemic, we must learn from the mistakes and devastation of the elderly population in nursing homes everywhere from Seattle to Brazil. As lawmakers we need to implement these CDC guidelines to assure adequate protection of our kupuna and save lives,” said Representative Cabanilla.

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