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3 more deaths, 87 new cases

News Source: The Garden Island

HONOLULU —  Three additional coronavirus-related deaths on O‘ahu and 87 new infections statewide have been reported by the State Department of Health, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 142 deaths and 12,601 cases. On Kaua‘i, there were no new cases reported.

The three O‘ahu fatalities included a man “who was 80 or older” and two women in the 60-to-69-year-old age group. All three had underlying medical conditions and were in the hospital at the time of their deaths. Meanwhile, the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo on Hawai‘i Island has been the site of a major COVID-19 cluster, with more than a dozen deaths yet to be officially counted by the Department of Health.

In response to these deaths, the family of Chris Drayer, a Vietnam War veteran who died after contracting COVID-19 at the veterans home, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility. The lawsuit alleges that Utah-based Avalon Health Care and its affiliates failed to provide adequate care and safety measures, leading to Drayer’s death. Attorney Jeffrey Foster, representing the family, criticized Avalon for its “substandard care and non-existent health-safety practices.”

Avalon, which has relinquished control of the veterans home to the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation, faced additional outbreaks at its Hale Nani Rehabilitation and Nursing Center facility on O‘ahu earlier this year. At least 21 nursing homes in Hawai‘i have reported coronavirus cases among staff or residents.

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