Kona hospital lifts visitation restrictions

  • LAURA RUMINSKI/West Hawaii Today Kona Community Hospital

KAILUA-KONA — Kona Community Hospital lifted visitation restrictions after 40 days of patient quarantine, the hospital announced Monday.

The hospital closed its doors to all visitors Dec. 6, nearly three weeks after an outbreak of scabies was identified and began spreading rapidly through the ranks of KCH staff, eventually crossing into the patient population.

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KCH leadership amended the policy during the following days to allow limited visitation in the intensive care and obstetrics units, respectively.

“Although precautions have been relaxed … it is too early to issue an all clear,” the Monday release says, adding the hospital will continue to monitor the situation.

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Hospital staff on Nov. 19 diagnosed the first cases of scabies. Since then, the hospital said it moved to disinfect the entire facility with an EPA-registered product and provided preventive treatment to all employees who deal directly with patients as well as non-patient care workers deemed to have potentially been exposed, the release stated.

Working with the state Department of Health, KCH also engaged in educational outreach within the hospital and with the community, along with alerting local health agencies and physicians. According to the release, daily surveillance of patients and staff remains active.

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