September 28, 2020

Dear Residents, Family Members, and Friends:

Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home has been following the guidance and directives of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the County and State Health Departments regarding COVID-19 and infection control and prevention. COVID-19 has, unfortunately, hit the nation’s nursing homes the hardest as we care for the most vulnerable among us in a communal setting, which is supposed to be homelike and where residents retain rights and dignity. The VA team arrived at the facility last week.

Since our last update on September 26, 2020, no additional residents tested positive for COVID-19. The total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus is 71. Of those residents, ten are being cared for at the facility in a dedicated COVID unit, three are being cared for at the hospital, and 32 have recovered. The COVID unit is physically separated from the rest of the facility and has dedicated staff who only care for the residents on that unit.

We are deeply saddened to report that twenty-six of our beloved Veterans who tested positive for COVID-19 have passed away. We are heartbroken over this and express our condolences to the family and friends of these residents.

Since our last update on September 26, 2020, no additional staff members tested positive for COVID-19. The total number of staff members who have tested positive is 35, 29 of whom have recovered. The source of the exposure – whether at the facility or a community or family exposure – is not taken into account when reporting these numbers.

Based upon our contact tracing, we believe the virus entered the facility through an asymptomatic staff member who was exposed in the community and through a resident who was exposed at an outside dialysis appointment, which exposure we were not informed about.
We do not currently have a cluster of three or more residents and/or staff with new-onset respiratory symptoms in the last 72 hours.

All residents and staff are being tested twice per week.

The positive staff members are self-isolating at home and will not return to work until medically cleared to do so. All staff members are screened before entering the facility pursuant to CDC guidelines and are sent home if they report any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or other illness. Any residents experiencing signs or symptoms are isolated and tested. All staff are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) pursuant to CDC guidelines.

We are working diligently to limit the spread of the virus to other residents of the facility and are communicating this news to our residents, staff, and their loved ones.

We are strictly limiting access to the building and carefully screening all people entering our facility in accordance with CDC and CMS guidelines. At this time, only essential visitors and vendors are being allowed access to the building as determined on a case-by-case basis. We are also following the CDC and CMS guidance that applies once a nursing facility has a confirmed COVID-19 positive case, as well as working closely with our physician partners, the State Health Department, and the State and Federal VA.

Our top priority remains the safety of staff, residents, and visitors. This includes making sure all of our employees and staff throughout the facility understand how to protect themselves and the residents in their care.

We are dedicated to providing quality care for our residents. Our staff is working around the clock to care for and protect our residents. We will continue to fight to keep our residents and staff safe.

Please reach out directly to the Facility Administrator with any questions or concerns that you have.


With Aloha,

Your Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home Facility Administration