State Health Department Director Bruce Anderson said this afternoon the state’s first coronavirus-related death was an older Oahu man who was recently hospitalized with multiple medical issues.
He said the exact cause of death was still unclear, but the man did test positive for COVID-19 and the disease possibly contributed to his death.
Anderson made his statements during a new conference with Gov. David Ige, Lt. Gov. Josh Green, and Ken Hara, director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.
Watch the news conference below:
“Our sincere condolences to the family,” Anderson said.
He said the state double checked to make sure it wasn’t a “clerical error,” which is what caused last week’s erroneous report of a coronavirus death in Hawaii.
In addition, Anderson said the state’s random COVID-19 testing program, which has tested 360 flu test samples from around the state for the virus so far, also found its first positive result, showing the disease may be spreading in the community, at least on Oahu.
He said there are no cases on Molokai and Lanai at this time.
Hawaii Department of Health officials said today that the state’s tally of coronavirus cases has risen to a total of 224 and includes the first death in the islands.
The total number of cases today is up 20 from Monday, mostly on Oahu.
Health officials provided no details on the first fatality.
The department mistakenly reported the state’s first death last week, but later said there had been a testing error and that the person died of other causes, not COVID-19.
Of all the confirmed cases in Hawaii since the start of the outbreak, 13 have required hospitalizations, state health officials said today.
Today’s statewide total includes 157 cases on Oahu, 25 in Maui County, 15 on Hawaii island, and 12 in Kauai County, according to health officials. Of those county cases, a total of 19 were non-residents of Hawaii: six on Oahu, five in Kauai County, and four each in Maui County and on the Big Island.
The statewide total also includes two Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.
Thirteen cases in the statewide total are pending identification of county, two more than Monday.
In all, state officials today reported 18 new cases on Oahu.
Of the total 224 cases, state officials say 58 patients have recovered, up 3 from Monday.