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Hawaii officials count 45 new coronavirus cases but say data is incomplete

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / JULY 19
                                Of the 127,279 coronavirus tests conducted so far by state and clinical laboratories in Hawaii, about 1.7% have been positive. Here, a Kalihi Kai Urgent Care worker carries a sample for a COVID-19 test at Wahiawa Community Park last month.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / JULY 19

    Of the 127,279 coronavirus tests conducted so far by state and clinical laboratories in Hawaii, about 1.7% have been positive. Here, a Kalihi Kai Urgent Care worker carries a sample for a COVID-19 test at Wahiawa Community Park last month.

Hawaii Department of Health officials today reported 45 new coronavirus cases but said the daily reporting of positive COVID-19 cases has been “temporarily affected by missing data.”

Officials said data from Saturday and today is missing from Clinical Laboratories of Hawai‘i, a private laboratory conducting most of the tests in the state.

The 45 new cases being reported today are “not a complete and accurate picture due to the temporary delay in receiving complete data,” they said.

“We are missing electronic laboratory reporting data from one of the private clinical laboratories, from July 31 to today,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said in a news release. “This is likely a result of recent modifications in data reporting required by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. We have advised the affected laboratory to provide manual reporting of data until they’re able to correct the reporting issues. This is impacting our ability to quickly identify and investigate new persons with COVID-19 and to contact trace.”

The department will likely need to update case numbers from Friday on, officials said.

Of the 45 cases, 44 are on Oahu, and one is on Maui.

As of today, 922 infections in Hawaii are known to be active cases, with a total of 1,294 patients now classified by health officials as “released from isolation,” or 58% of those infected. Twenty-five new release cases — 21 on Oahu and four on Maui — 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 1,886 on Oahu, 171 in Maui County, 115 on Hawaii island, and 47 in Kauai County, according to health officials. The total also includes 23 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

RELATED STORY: Hawaii’s recent surge in COVID-19 could further cripple the state, health officials warn

The state’s coronavirus-related death toll remains at 26: 19 on Oahu, six on Maui and one Kauai resident who died outside the state. The nationwide COVID-19 death count has surpassed 154,000.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii cases since the start of the outbreak, 199 have required hospitalizations, with five new hospitalizations on Oahu reported today, health officials said.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green said today that 75 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Hawaii — 15 patients in the ICU and 10 patients on ventilators.

Of the 127,279 coronavirus tests conducted so far by state and clinical laboratories in Hawaii, about 1.7% have been positive. Officials counted just 638 new tests in today’s tally, with the 45 new cases representing 7% of the total.

Two hospitalizations in the statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 197 hospitalizations within the state, 166 have been on Oahu, 26 on Maui, four on Hawaii island, and one on Kauai.

By county, Honolulu has seen 1,003 patients released from isolation, and Maui has had 133 patients released. Kauai County has three active infections, while Hawaii County has none.

Park expressed dismay about reports of large beach gatherings, including one at Waimea Bay, which involved the promotion of a rock jumping contest and generated a large crowd, with many people not wearing masks or practicing physical distancing.

“It’s disappointing and dangerous to people’s health, for anyone to continue to encourage and actively promote these big groups,” Park said. “Everyone should avoid large gatherings and crowded places and use proven, common-sense, and simple steps to protect our community from COVID-19.”

Health officials also said businesses seeking coronavirus-related guidance, including cleaning and disinfection guidelines and recommended procedures in response to a positive coronavirus case in an employee, can visit this website.

Correction: As of Sunday, the state had counted 199 coronavirus-related hospitalizations. An earlier version of this story had a much higher number.

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