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8 more cases in Hawaii for total of 56

The number of coronavirus cases in Hawaii increased by eight Sunday, pushing up the statewide total to 56 and indicating a limited amount of the virus spreading in the community.

Six of the new cases were on Oahu, and two were on Maui, according to the Department of Health, which released the updated figures at noon Sunday.

Three of the new cases required hospitalization, and two remained in the hospital Sunday. No deaths have been reported in Hawaii due to the virus that causes COVID-19.

The breakdown by island Sunday stood at 41 on Oahu, nine on Maui and three on both Kauai and Hawaii island.

The Health Department said at least one of the cases Sunday indicated community spread of the virus. The Health Department previously said there were other cases of community-spread COVID-19, but changed the classification of those cases after receiving more information. The Health Department now says the community spread case reported Sunday is the first in the state. Community spread of the virus is defined as cases not related to recent travel.

“While this recent case points to limited community spread, the greatest concern is widespread community transmission where multiple cases have no connection to travel or an imported illness,” the Health Department said in a statement. “Widespread community transmission would indicate an outbreak spreading in Hawaii. At this time, there is no evidence of widespread community transmission in Hawaii.”

However, the department said things are changing rapidly.

Of Sunday’s new cases, four had some connection to travel, with two having definite travel and two having had contact with travelers. A more complete picture of the travel history for the new cases was still pending.

Also Sunday the state announced a new pediatric case, bringing the state’s cases involving children to two. Last week Hawaii Baptist Academy said one of its students and his family had tested positive for coronavirus.

The Health Department said its State Laboratories Division has tested 263 samples that were randomly selected from flu tests taken from across the state. All of the random community tests have been negative.

Earlier on Sunday the Marine Corps announced its first positive case for coronavirus in the islands: a Marine assigned to Camp. H.M. Smith on Oahu. The Marine tested positive after returning Friday from training and annual leave on the mainland and going to Tripler Army Medical Center with symptoms of COVID-19. The Marine was treated and discharged that same day and was in quarantine in off-base quarters.

The Army also has said there are four confirmed cases of coronavirus among the Army community in Hawaii.

Health officials said Sunday that more than 2,700 people have been tested in Hawaii by private clinical labs. Officials said as the number of private labs doing testing increases, so likely will the number of positive cases.

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