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Hawaii health officials report 27 new coronavirus cases, including 17 associated with Oahu funeral

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Premier Medical Group Hawaii conducted a drive-thru COVID-19 testing event at the Waipiʻo Peninsula Soccer Complex Saturday. Hawaii has seen an increase in coronavirus infections this month.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Premier Medical Group Hawaii conducted a drive-thru COVID-19 testing event at the Waipiʻo Peninsula Soccer Complex Saturday. Hawaii has seen an increase in coronavirus infections this month.

UPDATE: 12:20 p.m.

A city bus driver has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Oahu Transit Services Inc., which operates TheBus and TheHandi-Van for the city.

OTS officials said they learned Saturday night that the worker tested positive.

Click here to read more.

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Hawaii recorded 27 new coronavirus cases today as the statewide total of infections since the start of the outbreak rose to 899, state Department of Health officials said in their daily midday count.

Today’s new cases include 23 on Oahu, two on Kauai, and one each on the Big Island and Maui.

State health officials said the spike in COVID-19 case numbers today is “largely due to a cluster of 17 Honolulu cases all associated with attending a funeral.”

“Intensive contact tracing identified the cases quickly, testing was conducted, and all are in isolation,” officials said in a news release. “Contact tracing also identified six cases in Leeward Oahu associated with known clusters, and all of the cases are in isolation.”

The Big Island case was associated with travel to Georgia, and the two Kauai cases are part of a known cluster, they said.

“It’s important to celebrate life and share life events, whether it’s remembering someone who has passed or gathering with others in practicing a common faith, and doing so safely will protect our loved ones and the entire community,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said in the news release. “Safe practices including physical distancing, wearing of masks, and frequent hand washing are critically important during these times and especially when we are with others outside of our daily household.”

“These recent cases are local examples of how this virus has no bounds. It spreads easily from place-to-place, island-to-island, state-to-state,” said Health Director Bruce Anderson. “We all need to continue to take personal responsibility and take steps to protect ourselves and our community.

Kauai County officials said that the latest cases were identified and tested in the Health Department’s contact tracing of previous cases. The county now has 16 active infection cases, all of whom are in isolation, officials said. The new cases involve a third household, separate from the previous two households in the cluster.

As of today, 162 infections in Hawaii are active cases with a total of 719 patients now classified by health officials as “released from isolation” since the start of the outbreak in February. Five new release cases were reported today. The category counts those infected people who have met the criteria for being released from isolation.

About 80% of the Hawaii people who have been infected are now classified as released from isolation.

The state’s coronavirus death toll remains at 18, with 12 of the deaths on Oahu and six on Maui.

Today’s statewide coronavirus cases total includes 636 on Oahu, 123 in Maui County, 87 on Hawaii island, and 37 in Kauai County, according to health officials. The total also includes 16 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii cases since the start of the outbreak, 111 have required hospitalizations, with one new hospitalization on Oahu reported today, health officials said.

One hospitalization in the statewide count is a Hawaii resident who was diagnosed and treated outside the state, officials said. Of the 110 hospitalizations in the state, 82 have been on Oahu, 25 on Maui, two on Hawaii island, and one for Kauai.

By county, Honolulu has seen 502 patients released from isolation, and Maui has had 113 patients released. Kauai has 16 active infections, while the Big Island has three.

Of the more than 77,155 coronavirus tests conducted so far by state and clinical laboratories in Hawaii, about 1.2% have been positive. Health officials counted 1,677 new test results in today’s tally.

After a relatively mild May with only 46 new cases reported, Hawaii has reported 255 new confirmed cases so far in June.

>> RELATED STORY: Oahu vacation rental restrictions remain as other counties ease up

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