A Kona Community Hospital employee was diagnosed with COVID-19 last Friday, hospital officials announced Monday.

The employee is quarantined at home and no other staff have tested positive, hospital administrators said.

“Per hospital protocols, nursing is in the process of tracking and testing any employees who may have been in contact with the staff member,” said Interim Chief Nurse Officer Stephanie Irwin.

Hospitals across the state are screening staff for COVID-19-like symptoms regularly.


The hospital conducts staff temperature and symptom checks daily.

“In this situation, it’s a case of processes working,” said Judy Donovan, regional director of marketing and strategic planning at Kona Community Hospital. “The employee called in sick … testing followed. The employee has not been at Kona Community Hospital since.”

Currently just one COVID-19 positive patient is under the hospital’s care.

The hospital is following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocol for testing, according to Donovan.

Testing is conducted when the following criteria are met: employees or patients were not wearing masks during contact, were within 6 feet of each other during an interaction, and spent more than 15 minutes together per shift.

“Currently no staff or patients have met criteria for the test. However, we are still conducting tracing,” Donovan said.

The hospital has conducted 996 diagnostic COVID-19 tests since March, and has reported six cases to date through that testing, including three emergency department patients, and three people who had been admitted to the hospital.

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