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Hawaii sees 64 new coronavirus-related cases as statewide total grows to 1,683

Hawaii Department of Health officials today announced 64 new coronavirus-related cases, bringing the statewide total number of infections since the start of the outbreak to 1,683.

On Saturday, the state reported 73 new cases, the third straight day that the state set a new-case record.

Today’s new cases included 55 on Oahu, seven in Maui County and two on Kauai, according to the state Department of Health’s daily tally.

Kauai officials said today that one case is a resident and the other is a visitor, and that both cases appear to be travel related. “The Kauai District Health Office staff is working to ensure that the cases are safely in isolation, and their close contacts are safely in quarantine before the storm hits,” officials said.

Officials said as a result of updated information, one case from Honolulu was removed from the counts today.

Today’s statewide coronavirus case total includes 1,345 on Oahu, 153 in Maui County, 117 on Hawaii island, and 45 in Kauai County, according to health officials. The total also includes 23 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

Health officials say the state could see an increase in COVID-19 with “more people gathering and in congregate situations” as they take shelter ahead of Hurricane Douglas.

“It’s fair to say that we could expect there to be an increase,” said DOH spokeswoman Janice Okubo.

Gov. David Ige temporarily lifted the state’s mandatory 14-day travel quarantine to allow tourists to prepare for the storm, while Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell issued an emergency proclamation allowing gatherings of 50 or more people indoors as the city opens shelters for potential evacuees. The city was expected to open 13 hurricane shelters on Oahu this morning.

“It does present challenges, but the shelters are going to be set up to use physical distancing,” said Okubo, adding that the department confirmed shelter-at-home plans with about 625 people currently in isolation due to COVID-19 exposure. “We’re continually concerned about people not complying with wearing masks and physical distancing. Of course there are challenges with people congregating in homes because of the hurricane, but we want people to be safe and we just urge people to, as much as they possibly can, practice those prevention measures.”

The DOH said people congregating with extended family or friends should wear masks at home, wash hands often, clean surfaces and avoid close face-to-face contact.

There’s a possibility the daily count will be lower on Monday and Tuesday because the DOH closed the State Laboratories Division today due to the hurricane.

The state’s coronavirus-related death toll remains 26, 19 on Oahu, six on Maui and one Kauai resident who died out of state.

As of today, 478 infections in Hawaii are active cases, with a total of 1,179 patients now classified by health officials as “released from isolation,” or more than 70% of those infected. Twelve new release cases were reported today. The category counts those infected people who have met the criteria for being released from isolation.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii cases since the start of the outbreak, 163 have required hospitalizations, with two new hospitalizations reported today, health officials said.

Two hospitalizations in the statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 161 hospitalizations within the state, 130 have been on Oahu, 26 on Maui, four on Hawaii island, and one on Kauai.

By county, Honolulu has seen 903 patients released from isolation, and Maui has had 124 patients released. Hawaii island has 10 active infections, while Kauai County three.

Of the 114,052 coronavirus tests conducted so far by state and clinical laboratories in Hawaii, just 1.4% have been positive.

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Editor’s Note: This story is developing and will be updated again this afternoon.

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