KITV4: Construction company tied to Moloka’i COVID-19 cluster apologizes

After dozens of COVID-19 cases on Moloka’i were traced back to a construction company, some believe it dragged its feet in alerting the community.

After dozens of COVID-19 cases on Moloka’i were traced back to a construction company, some believe it dragged its feet in alerting the community.

The Maui-based company tied to the cluster is now breaking its silence, more than a week after news broke of the outbreak among construction workers renovating Molok’i General Hospital.

At first it was believed an “Unvaccinated” construction worker came down with the coronavirus, which led to confusion and concern from the community.

Arita Poulson General Contracting on Moloka’i issued a statement claiming the employee actually received his first shot of the Phizer vaccine on April 30th, a few days later he development mild symptoms but thought it was vaccine related and continued to work without notifying employers. After symptoms got worse, he notified employees and tested positive for COVID-19 on May 11th.

Representative Lynn Decoite, who disclosed the outbreak, says because the company was slow to give out information, it led to misinformation and anger.

Along with the statement, AGPC also said sorry. In a statement, “First and foremost, we owe the Moloka’i community and Moloka’i General Hospital an apology for the fear and confusion that has occurred. Our respect for the privacy of our employees was our initial concern. We realize by not being transparent at the beginning, this led to misinformation, confusion and understandable fear.”

A spokesperson for the company says it is exploring the option of having all of its employees at the site get tested weekly.
The company acknowledges it did require workers to fill out a daily COVID-19 screening questionnaire but it relied on an honor system.
It will now be mandating workers to report any illness or symptoms to managers along with any family member who are sick.

“As a company you take pride in your company and accept responsibility and I believe they have and they’re wanting to move forward and build the trust back,” said Representative Decoite.

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