West Hawaii’s first coronavirus-related death reported by Kona Community Hospital

  • Kona Community Hospital. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today file photo)

A woman in her 40s is West Hawaii’s first coronavirus-related death, a hospital spokesperson confirmed Thursday.

The woman, identified only as a resident, died Monday while being admitted at Kona Community Hospital after arriving in the emergency department, according to Judy Donovan. Additional details were not immediately available.

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“Everyone was wearing the appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) at the time, and we have rooms that air not quite negative air pressure rooms but they are as safe as we can make them,” said Donovan, “so, no we’re not concerned (about potential exposure of others) at this point.”

The death, which Donovan said was confirmed by a pathologist to be coronavirus-related and has been reported to the state Department of Health, brings the total number of COVID-19 fatalities on the Big Island to 36.

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That figure includes Monday’s death at the Kona hospital as well as death Thursday at Hilo Medical Center, bringing that facility’s death toll total to six. Another 27 residents of the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home and two from Life Care Center have died from the virus.

Donovan said Kona Community Hospital currently has four COVID-19 patients admitted at the facility. Two are in the intensive care unit and on ventilators. The other two patients, who did not require ventilators, are being cared for in the Med Surg unit.

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