Federal funding allocated to Hilo veterans home that grappled with large outbreak

Federal funding allocated to Hilo veterans home that grappled with large outbreak
Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home (Source: HNN)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hilo nursing facility for veterans will receive at least $600,000 in federal funding to combat the spread of COVID among residents and staff.

This funding came as Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home had the state’s highest concertation of COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began.

Over the course of an outbreak that started in August, 71 residents were infected and 27 died before federal intervention and a change in management were made.

As the only state veterans home in Hawaii, about $428,000 under the American Rescue Plan Act and about $172,700 from December’s COVID relief package will go toward upgrading equipment and ensuring adequate staffing.

“Last fall, Yukio Okutsu was understaffed and ill equipped to stop a deadly COVID outbreak. This new federal funding will help the home upgrade its facilities and ensure its workers remain on the payroll so that it can keep its residents healthy and safe,” Schatz said.

The state will also receive funding to deploy “Strike Teams” to respond to outbreaks at long-term care facilities.

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