Report: Hilo veterans home employee stayed on the job for 3 days after COVID-19 exposure

The coronavirus outbreak at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo may have begun with an employee who worked ― despite being linked to a large cluster.

That conclusion was included in a state Health Department report that seeks to understand what contributed to one of the deadliest outbreaks in the state.

The state Office of Health Care Assurance released its findings Friday following a month-long inspection of the home, where 71 residents and 35 employees have tested positive for the virus since August. Twenty-seven of those residents have died.

Utah-based Avalon Healthcare is no longer in charge of the veterans home, but the scope of its damage is severe.