• Kona Community Hospital COVID-19 Community Update - January 5, 2022

    January 06, 2022
    Hawaii County is being severely affected by the current surge in positive COVID cases due to the Omicron variant. Over the weekend, numerous employees and medical staff either tested positive or were directly exposed to COVID. These employees are now under the purview of the DOH.
    Multiple departments are now operating under challenging staffing conditions. Subsequently, as of Thursday, December 31, we have implemented strict staffing strategies in alignment with current CDC and DOH guidelines for exposed and/or COVID-positive employees. This decision was not made lightly, but is vital to our ability to continue providing patient care throughout the hospital.
    • Contingency staffing strategy (hospital-wide)
      • Exposed employees may be allowed to work, but remain under DOH care. Upon leaving work, these employees must continue to quarantine.
      • Positive employees: under contingency staffing, we continue to follow the current DOH and CDC guidelines as closely.
    • Crisis staffing strategy (department-by-department)
      • Crisis staffing will be implemented on a department-by-department basis based on number of employees unable to work, as well as department capacity and need. Each department director will determine when they are in a crisis staffing situation.
      • Positive Employees:  A positive COVID employee may be called into work, but remains under DOH care, and must adhere to DOH isolation precautions at work and when not at work.
    We will continue to monitor CDC and DOH medical advisories, and make adjustments to processes as new science and recommendations become available.
    Antibody Therapies:  The Omicron variant is NOT neutralized by Regen-cove antibodies. Therefore, KCH will no longer offer Regen-cove antibodies as a COVID therapy. Please do not come to the emergency department for antibody therapies. ED staff will not be able to accommodate these requests.
    We will have no antibody therapies available for the near future. Our pharmacy is ordering Sotrovimab, which will be effective against the Omicron variant. However, we have no information as to when to expect a delivery, or what the administration criteria will be.
    Visitors: In addition to the temporary staffing strategies, a No Visitor policy has been reinstated as another measure to mitigate the potential for further exposure within the hospital. KCH will reopen to visitors when it is considered safe for patients and staff. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.
    Please see today’s update below:
    Kona Community Hospital COVID-19 update for January 5, 2022 (as of 8:00am) below:
    ·       Hospital-wide census: 68
    ·       4 total COVID-19 patient(s)
    o   0 ICU (of 4 total ICU patients)
    o   4 Med Surg COVID Unit 
    o   0 ventilator(s) in use for COVID patient(s)
    o   4 vaccinated COVID patients in-house
    o   As of January 5, 2022, a cumulative total of 25 COVID-related deaths have occurred in the hospital.
    View Hawaii’s latest reported case counts:  


    Current Testing sites: The KCH Emergency Department is NOT a public testing site.  
    Current vaccination sites in Hawaii County can be found on the Hawaii County COVID-19 Vaccine Summary webpage.
    Replacement Vaccine Cards Important Update:  The KCH Call Center & COVID email address are no longer in use.
    • If you received a Pfizer vaccine at a KCH vaccine clinic, and need a replacement vaccine card, please contact KCH Medical Records at (808) 322-4473.
    • KCH Medical Records cannot replace vaccine cards for vaccines administered at another site.

    ·       NEW – Department of Health News Release – December 29: News Releases from Department of Health | DOH revises state’s isolation & quarantine policy (hawaii.gov)

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