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Hawaii reports record high of 60 new coronavirus cases; 375 active infections statewide

  • DENNIS ODA / STAR-ADVERTISER
                                Medical assistants Kaylee Ishii, left, and Andrew Miscovich attended to the people that came to the drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the Kalihi Union Church on May 5. Hawaii hit another record number of daily coronavirus cases today with 60 new infections, mostly on Oahu.

    DENNIS ODA / STAR-ADVERTISER

    Medical assistants Kaylee Ishii, left, and Andrew Miscovich attended to the people that came to the drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the Kalihi Union Church on May 5. Hawaii hit another record number of daily coronavirus cases today with 60 new infections, mostly on Oahu.

Hawaii hit another record number of daily coronavirus cases today with 60 new infections, mostly on Oahu.

Health officials reported 58 new cases on Oahu, one on Maui and a Hawaii resident diagnosed out of state, bringing the statewide total number of infections since the start of the outbreak to 1,549. A previous case from Maui was removed from the total count as a result of updated information, the Health Department said.

The 60 positive cases equate to 4% of the 1,499 new test results counted today.

“We’re concerned that this relatively high level of cases is persisting on Oahu. Some of the cases we’re reporting today are associated with existing clusters, known cases and household spread, but others are new, unassociated cases that indicate increasing community spread,” state Health Director Bruce Anderson said in a news release. “In contact tracing, we continue to identify cases connected with gatherings or just hanging out with close friends. Until we all recognize the importance of physically distancing from people outside of their households and wearing masks, we face the prospect of even higher numbers.”

As of today, 375 infections in Hawaii are active cases, with a total of 1,148 patients now classified by health officials as “released from isolation,” or more than 74% of those infected. Twenty-three new release cases were reported today. The category counts those infected people who have met the criteria for being released from isolation.

Today’s statewide coronavirus case total includes 1,225 on Oahu, 141 in Maui County, 117 on Hawaii island, and 43 in Kauai County, according to health officials. The total also includes 23 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii cases since the start of the outbreak, 156 have required hospitalizations, with one new hospitalization on Oahu reported today, health officials said.

Two hospitalizations in the statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 154 hospitalizations within the state, 123 have been on Oahu, 26 on Maui, four on Hawaii island, and one on Kauai.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green said today there are 30 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized in Hawaii with 13 patients in ICU and two patients on ventilators.

By county, Honolulu has seen 874 patients released from isolation, and Maui has had 124 patients released. Hawaii island now has nine active infections, while Kauai County none.

On Thursday, officials reported the death of a female Oahu senior who contracted the virus, becoming the state’s 26th fatality, along with a record 55 new confirmed cases, or 2.2 percent of the 2,478 new test results reported that day.

The previous high since the start of the pandemic was 42 daily cases, reported July 11.

The Department of Health said it is bringing on additional contact tracers to help with new case investigations and contact tracing, though that will not prevent further community spread, according to State Epidemiologist Sarah Park.

“As we have over 400 contact tracers now trained to augment existing staff resources, we have sufficient reserves for that purpose. Nevertheless, contact tracing and testing alone will not control the spread of COVID-19,” she said. “Everyone needs to adhere to the safe distancing recommendations and wear masks when near others. That is the only way we as a community are going to prevent the spread of this very infectious disease.”

Of the 112,790 coronavirus tests conducted so far by state and clinical laboratories in Hawaii, 1.4% have been positive, a slight increase from the 1.3% it has been in recent weeks.

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