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Hawaii health officials update COVID-19 figures to 152 new coronavirus cases following deaths of 2 Oahu residents

  • Courtesy Gov. David Ige

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / AUG. 3
                                Beach activity at Kuhio Beach in Waikiki. Gatherings on Oahu are limited to groups of 10 or less to help curb the spread of coronavirus. State officials are considering imposing tighter restrictions to prevent the spread of the disease.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / AUG. 3

    Beach activity at Kuhio Beach in Waikiki. Gatherings on Oahu are limited to groups of 10 or less to help curb the spread of coronavirus. State officials are considering imposing tighter restrictions to prevent the spread of the disease.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Pedestrians, masked and unmasked, stroll along Kalakaua Avenue on Monday. With a spike in coronavirus cases in Hawaii, state and county officials are urging residents and visitors to wear masks and practice physical distancing when out in public.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Pedestrians, masked and unmasked, stroll along Kalakaua Avenue on Monday. With a spike in coronavirus cases in Hawaii, state and county officials are urging residents and visitors to wear masks and practice physical distancing when out in public.

UPDATE 6:10 p.m.:

The Hawaii Department of Health reported late this afternoon that today’s statewide new coronavirus case tally is 152, with 148 of those on Oahu.

It reported 53 new cases earlier today but noted that figure was incomplete because of problems with receiving test results from a private laboratory. At a mid-afternoon news conference, Health Director Bruce Anderson said today’s total was “at least 200.” However, about two hours later the Health Department updated the figures and said by noon today the new case count was 152, bringing the statewide total to 2,914 since the start of the outbreak.

A state spokesman said Anderson was estimating before the actual numbers were available.

Besides the Oahu cases today, three new cases were reported on Maui and one on the Big Island.

The new cases bring the county-by-county totals to 2,541 for Honolulu, 180 for Maui County, 123 for Hawaii County, while Kauai remains at 47.

Health officials also updated the number of new hospitalizations to 11, all on Oahu and bringing the total statewide to 225 since the start of the outbreak. Anderson said earlier today that there are 117 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized in Hawaii, with 115 on Oahu.

The number of patients released from isolation was updated to 1,440, or 49% of the total cases since the outbreak began, with 38 new release cases reported today.

The updated figures mean that there are 1,445 active infections in Hawaii, the vast majority of them on Oahu.

3:30 p.m.:

Hawaii Health Director Bruce Anderson said this afternoon that the actual new coronavirus case count for today is at least 200.

The Health Department said earlier today that the official count was 53 new cases, but stressed the figure was incomplete because of problems with receiving test results from a private laboratory.

New COVID-19 cases, meanwhile, were confirmed today at the Honolulu Fire Department, Fighting Eel and the Honolulu City Council.

At a news conference with Gov. David Ige this afternoon, Anderson said that “the virus is endemic in Hawaii” and that the state’s hospitals could be overrun by the end of the month if the current pace continues.

Anderson said there are 117 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized in Hawaii, with 115 on Oahu, and more than half of the ICU units already filled.

“At this time, it is projected that our intensive care units at the hospitals on Oahu will be filled to capacity and overrun by the end of this month,” Anderson said.

Following the recent triple-digit increases in daily new cases, Ige today announced re-implementing the 14-day interisland travel quarantine starting Aug. 11.

“We are taking action to stop the social gatherings which we believe have fueled the increase. We will continue to be focused on taking action to keep our community safe,” Ige said today. “So please, we ask you to take personal responsibility, to work with the police chief, the mayor and I, all the members here on Oahu, as we fight against COVID-19.”

At the same news conference, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced the start of new restrictions to discourage social gatherings by closing all city parks, campgrounds, botanical gardens, beaches, bowling alleys, arcades and mini-golf facilities beginning the morning of Aug. 8 until Sept. 4 at 11:59 p.m.

The public will be allowed to access beaches for swimming, surfing and other ocean activities, but can only traverse city beach parks to get to the water and back. No other activities will be allowed on beaches or city beach parks.

“[Gov. David Ige and I] spent a lot of time to talking about the next steps because of the surging number of cases on the island of Oahu,” Caldwell said. “At the recommendation of the Department of Health, it became very clear that we had to clamp down on large uncontrolled gatherings.”

Honolulu Police Department Chief Susan Ballard said today her department will be stepping up enforcement across the state with the addition of 160 officers islandwide seven days a week. Ballard also announced a new COVID-19 hotline starting 10 a.m. Sunday for the public to report any violations at 723-3900.

“If you see any violations of the emergency proclamation, we’re asking you to please report them and the police will respond,” Ballard said.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

As state officials mull imposing tighter restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus, the Department of Health today reported a sharp decline from recent triple-digit increases — just 53 new coronavirus cases, which officials said were a result of technical difficulties with reporting new cases.

“We are experiencing technical difficulties with our electronic laboratory reporting system and as a result the amount newly reported is an undercount. The count will be updated as soon as the issues are resolved,” health officials said in today’s COVID-19 tally update, which was released over half an hour later than usual.

Fifty-two of today’s new cases were on Oahu and one case was in Maui County, bringing the statewide total since the outbreak began to 2,815. One case from Oahu was removed from the tally as a result of updated information, officials said today.

Officials this morning also recorded two new coronavirus-related deaths today on Oahu, bringing the statewide death tally to 29.

An elderly female resident at a Pearl City nursing home and an elderly man, both with underlying medical conditions, were hospitalized when they died, officials said today in a news release.

“The passing of this man really demonstrates how rapidly and invisibly COVID-19 is spreading through our communities, particularly on Oahu and particularly associated with clusters,” State Epidemiologist Sarah Park said in a news release. “A close contact of this individual attended a spin class at a gym taught by a person linked to the Hawaiian Airlines cluster.”

Twenty of Hawaii’s other coronavirus-related deaths have been on Oahu, six on Maui, and one Kauai resident who died outside the state.

State officials are considering imposing tighter restrictions to prevent the spread of the disease as COVID-19 cases climbed to another triple-digit record on Oahu Wednesday. Lt. Gov. Josh Green had said he wouldn’t be surprised if the governor called for “a significant lockdown on activities,” at least on Oahu, for up to four weeks.

Today’s statewide coronavirus case total includes 2,445 on Oahu, 178 in Maui County, 122 on Hawaii island, and 47 in Kauai County, according to health officials. The total also includes 23 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

As of today, 1,353 infections in Hawaii are known to be active cases, with a total of 1,433 patients now classified by health officials as “released from isolation,” or about 51% of those infected. The category counts those infected people who have met the criteria for being released from isolation. Thirty one new release cases were reported today.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii cases since the start of the outbreak, 223 have required hospitalizations, with nine new hospitalizations on Oahu reported today, health officials said. Green said today there are 117 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19, including 21 patients in the ICU and 14 patients on ventilators.

Two hospitalizations in the statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 221 hospitalizations within the state, 190 have been on Oahu, 26 on Maui, four on Hawaii island, and one on Kauai.

By county, Honolulu has seen 1,130 patients released from isolation, and Maui has had 142 patients released. Hawaii County has seven active infections, while Kauai has none, according to county figures.

Health Director Bruce Anderson extended condolences to the families of the two Oahu residents who died from the virus.

“This is why taking personal responsibility is so critical as we continue to see this rise in COVID-19 cases,” Anderson said in a news release. “If you’re sick, stay home. If you’re around other people, wear your mask and practice physical distancing. These are proven methods to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.”

——

This is a breaking news story and will be updated again.

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