March 23, 2021

Hugs from Family Members are Back at Kalākaua Gardens

Long-Term Care Facility Resumes In-person, Indoor Visits from Family Members

HONOLULU — After about a year of restrictive family visitation policies, Kalākaua Gardens, a senior living community, is opening its doors so that its residents and their family members can visit each other again — up close and in person. Indoor visits from family and non-essential visits outside the facility resumed today, Monday, March 22.

“This is a major step toward restoring a sense of normalcy for our kūpuna,” said Joel Guron, Executive Director of the 228-bed aging-in-place community that offers different levels of care, from independent living to 24/7 skilled nursing care. “With virtually all of our residents and staff vaccinated, we’re beginning to ease some of our COVID restrictions, while carefully following the federal, state and county guidance to celebrate this milestone of being able to safely gather and hug each other again.”

Guron said the Kalākaua Gardens team has meticulously sifted through the guidance on post-vaccination protocols for long-term care facilities from the Centers for Disease Control, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Hawai‘i Department of Health and the Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i.

Marlen Resiwain, Assistant Administrator of Kalākaua Gardens, said there will still be precautions in place to protect residents, family visitors and staff. Visitation is available for residents in memory care, assisted living, and independent living daily only from 10 am to 6 pm.

Residents in the assisted living community may have one visit per day, up to two visitors per visit.  Visits are limited to one hour.  Indoor visits will take place in a resident’s apartment.  Children under the age of 18 are not allowed to visit at this time.

Visitors and residents are required to wear a mask during the visit and remain six feet apart. However, those residents who have been fully vaccinated may choose to have close contact with their visitor as long as they wear a well-fitted face mask and perform hand-hygiene before and after the visit. All visitors are required to physically distance from other residents and staff in the facility.

Family members are required to schedule a visit in advance with Kalākaua Gardens concierge by calling (808) 892-4500 from Monday through Friday between 5 pm and 8 pm.

Kalākaua Gardens is also allowing family members to take residents out for meals or for non-essential appointments. However, the resident must return within 24 hours or will be required to quarantine in their apartment for 14 days.

Residents will still be required to wear a face mask and comply with physical distancing and other guidance from the City and County of Honolulu while out in the community.

February 12, 2021

Kalākaua Gardens Completes COVID-19 Vaccinations for Staff and Residents

HONOLULU - Kalākaua Gardens, a 228-bed aging-in-place senior community in the Ala Moana area, has completed its second round of COVID-19 vaccinations and by next month expects to have 90% of its staff and 94% of residents vaccinated. Kalākaua Gardens offers a full spectrum of care, from independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing care with rehabilitation services under one roof.

“It’s a great feeling to know we have been able to do everything necessary to protect the health of our employees and the residents we serve,” said Joel Guron, Executive Director of Kalākaua Gardens. “We can breathe a sigh of relief and continue to move forward cautiously, while still following guidance on mask-wearing and social distancing.”

With support from the Hawai‘i Department of Health, CVS, and Walgreens, Kalākaua Gardens started vaccinating its skilled nursing care residents with the first doses of the Moderna vaccine on Jan. 10, and then started to vaccinate its staff and residents in assisted living and independent living in mid-January. Second doses of the vaccine were administered in early February and Kalākaua Gardens will wrap up its vaccinations in March.

Guron said that with the majority its staff and residents vaccinated and low positivity rates in the community, Kalākaua Gardens is beginning to safely resume one-to-one personalized tours of the facility for seniors and caregivers who may have held off on their decision to move into a long-term care facility when the number of COVID-19 cases and positivity rates were higher.

“The pandemic affected the census of all long term care facilities,” Guron said. “However, we believe there is pent-up demand for quality long-term care and we’re glad to return to a sense of normalcy in our senior community.”

January 10, 2021

Kalākaua Gardens Administers COVID-19 Vaccines to Skilled Nursing Care Residents and Staff

To ensure more healthcare professionals and kupuna in long-term care facilities are among the first in the state to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, Kalākaua Gardens, in partnership with Walgreens, began administering the first dosage of the Moderna vaccine today to skilled nursing care residents and staff who have consented to the vaccination.

The second, follow-up vaccine for the skilled nursing residents and staff has been scheduled for Feb. 8 (21 days after the first dosage). The first dosage of the vaccine will be administered to independent living, assisted living and memory care residents and staff on Thursday, Jan. 14.

November 30, 2020

Kalakaua Gardens resumes safe visits for residents and family members using CMS and CDC Guidance

HONOLULU — After more than half a year of being apart from each other, Kalākaua Gardens residents and their family members safely resumed in-person visits with each other the week of November 9, 2020.

With no COVID-19 cases among its residents throughout the pandemic, Kalākaua Gardens invited family members to make appointments to see their loved ones again, following regulations issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

According to CMS, a nursing home is able to offer in-person visitations for residents if there have been no COVID-19 cases in a facility for the last 14 days and its county positivity rate is low or medium, and follows strict regulations for the visits.

Kalākaua Gardens also continues to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure residents have the best quality of life, focusing on their physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being during this challenging time, while safeguarding the health of residents, family and staff.

Kalākaua Gardens Executive Director Joel Guron said: “We’re continuing to be extremely mindful to conduct strategic surveillance of our residents and staff before, during and after each visit.”

Residents in Kalākaua Gardens’ independent living, assisted living and memory care units as well as those in skilled nursing care are able to enjoy visits from family or friends on set days and times in a designated area in the building’s parking garage. All visitors need to complete a screening questionnaire and a have their temperature checked before meeting with a loved one on the day of their visit.

Up to two adults are allowed to visit a resident for 25 minutes and remain at a distance of six feet from the resident. Visitors will be required to wear face masks at all times during their visits. No eating will be allowed during the visit.

Family members may call the Concierge of Kalākaua Gardens at 808-518-2273 Monday through Friday, from 5 pm to 7 pm to schedule a visit.

June 12, 2020

Contact:  Nathan Hokama
(808) 226-7470


Kalakaua Gardens completes testing employees and residents; no COVID-19 positive cases to date

HONOLULU — Kalakaua Gardens, a senior living community that offers independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care under one roof, has completed testing its staff and residents for COVID-19. Kalakaua Gardens staff began working with the Hawaii Department of Health and collecting swab samples last Friday, June 5, immediately after the two non-direct care employees were confirmed positive for COVID-19.

Beginning with employees who worked closely with the two positive employees, all of Kalakaua Gardens’ 175 active employees have been tested and all of them have been negative. An additional 11 employees are on-call or have been on leave. They will be tested before they return to work on their scheduled workday. The Department of Health’s Hawaii State Laboratories Division and a private laboratory conducted the tests.

The two employees are being isolated in their homes for at least 14 days until the Hawaii Department of Health determines they are clear of the virus and can safely return to work. Based on the COVID-19 test results of other employees and residents available to date, it appears the two employees contracted the disease from outside Kalākaua Gardens. The Department of Health is conducting contact tracing with the two employees.

Kalakaua Gardens also offered testing for all of its 177 residents. The residents in assisted living and independent living as well as skilled nursing care who have been tested have been negative, including four tests that were confirmed today.

There are about 33 residents who have declined to be tested. As recommended by the Department of Health, these residents will remain in self-quarantine in their unit for 14 days.

“We would like to thank the Hawaii Department of Health for their guidance throughout this past week and for their support with testing our staff and residents. The guidance from the health department enabled the Kalakaua Gardens team to update our residents, their families, vendors and healthcare professionals who serve our residents and to respond to their questions,” said Bobbi Lyman, Interim General Manager of Kalakaua Gardens, which is rated a five-star facility by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  “While the test results are a sigh of relief, we know we must continue to remain vigilant in enforcing our infection control practices to protect our staff and residents.”

Kalakaua Gardens has implemented the following precautionary and mitigation strategies for both residents and staff, some of which have been in place since the early stages of the pandemic:


  • Only essential employees are reporting for work; non-essential employees have been asked to temporarily quarantine at home.
  • The temperature of all employees and essential healthcare professionals and vendors is taken before entering the facility. Before the beginning of each shift, all employees are required to respond to a brief questionnaire to help identify and screen symptomatic employees and other healthcare professionals and vendors.
  • Kalakaua Gardens is also reminding its employees to maintain social distancing and to comply with other safeguards while they are out in the community, as recommended by the Department of Health.


  • Residents are monitored for signs of any symptoms of any illness or changes in their health condition. Monitoring is conducted three times a day in the skilled nursing unit and twice a day in the independent living and assisted living units.
  • Skilled nursing care residents are able to maintain communication with family members through mobile devices and other digital tools. Kalakaua Gardens was one of 23 skilled nursing facilities that recently received a Department of Health grant to enable virtual visits between residents and their family members.
  • Visitations from family members to Kalakaua Gardens continue to be prohibited as a way to maintain physical distancing, while efforts to ensure senior residents maintain social connection with their family outside the facility.

April 21, 2020

The safety of your loved ones is of critical concern to all of us at Kalakaua Gardens. This update is to provide you with a few of the procedural changes Kalakaua Gardens is making to focus on our clearest priority – keeping our residents and team members safe.

As of this update, we have no diagnosed cases of the Coronavirus (“COVID-19”). We will remain vigilant in our efforts to protect our residents and team members during the Coronavirus pandemic.

We continue to implement procedural changes in step with guidance received by the Centers for Medicare Services (CMS), Center for Disease Control (CDC), and Hawaii State Department of Health.  As such, the following changes have been implemented:

Effective immediately until further notice for all Kalakaua Gardens Residents:

  • Visitors are not allowed in the building and will be asked to delay their visits until further notice.
  • Kalakaua Gardens has implemented quarantine procedures (meaning the only visitors allowed will be essential personnel).
  • All events involving external visitors, performers or facilitators have been cancelled.
  • All recreational excursions and shuttle runs are suspended. Shuttle runs for essential medical purposes will still occur.
  • Screening of staff and essential contractors continues with extensive screening questionnaire.
  • Additionally, we are tracking all staff illnesses and following guidelines recommended by the various health agencies and departments as necessary.
  • Mail service will not be interrupted.
  • Residents will not be allowed to leave the community unless it is for an essential purpose. (For residents who do not comply, upon return they will only be allowed back to KG under mandatory 14 day in-room quarantine)
  • For Independent Living, Assisted Living, Assisted Living Plus and Memory Care Residents: all resident temperature checks will be conducted twice a day (morning and evening). We are also closely monitoring any abnormal signs and symptoms.
  • For Skilled Nursing Residents: all resident temperature checks are being conducted upon staff shift change. We continue to screen and monitor for any abnormal signs or symptoms.
  • We are routinely monitoring the best infection prevention practices.
  • We are increasing cleaning of common areas.
  • Reviewing inventory checklist.

Kalakaua Gardens is continuously communicating with residents and staff any changes or new precautionary recommendations from the above agencies.

Friends and family are encouraged to communicate with loved ones remotely through phone calls, Facebook or video conferencing.

You can help our residents feel loved by using our contact us feature from our website page. Just complete the online form and we’ll print it out and deliver it to your loved one.

There is no doubt that these are unusual times. Unusual times call for unique steps that need to be taken to protect our residents, staff, family members, and visitors.  We do know that COVID-19 is very contagious and can be spread easily person to person. Our utmost priority is the safety of our residents, your loved one and our care associates.

Effective Immediately for all essential visitors to Kalakaua Gardens!

As part of our continued efforts to decrease the risk and spread of COVID-19, please review this communication.

Essential Visitors will be Limited/Restricted, except under extenuating circumstances, such as:

  • End-of-life situations
  • Health Care professionals as required by the plan of care
  • Kalakaua Gardens will follow federal and state guidelines as they evolve

All employees and essential visitors must wash or sanitize their hands prior to entering and frequently throughout their time in the facility.

All essential visitors and employees will be screened for:

  • Respiratory infection symptoms
  • A confirmed or suspected contact with any individual diagnosed with the novel Coronavirus now officially named COVID-19 in the preceding 14 days.
  • Had confirmed or a suspected contact with anyone who has traveled to/from any international country with a CDC Level 3 travel advisory in the preceding 14 days. (see CDC website for list).
  • Had an unexplained fever (subjective or ≥100.4°F or 38°C)

Increased Measures in place:

  • Taking daily temperature readings for all employees who are working, residents, patients, and essential visitors.
  • Monitoring for respiratory symptoms which include dry cough and shortness of breath.
  • Group outings and activities where social distancing is not possible are postponed until further notice.
  • Large group and social activities in high risk areas are suspended.

Our care teams live the Kalakaua Gardens foundational belief: we embrace a  heart for Service and a Passion for Living. We realize this is a frustrating and worrisome time. We will do everything possible to ensure your loved ones’ safety and make every effort to assist you in communicating with them. We are here for you, your family, each other, and our communities during this difficult time.

Please contact us with any additional questions or concerns you may have.