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Hawaii reports 201 new coronavirus cases and 2 deaths as active infections on Oahu climb

Hawaii health officials reported 201 new coronavirus cases and two more COVID-19 deaths today, as the state prepares to reinstate many restrictions after the dramatic recent spike in infections, especially on Oahu.

It is the first day that the statewide count surpassed 200. Hawaii’s coronavirus-related death toll now stands at 31, and the total number of infections in the state since the start of the outbreak is now 3,115. All but one of today’s new COVID-19 cases are on Oahu, with one on Maui.

Both of the latest fatalities are men from Oahu who had underlying health conditions.

One man, who was older than 60-years-old, had been in a hospital and died on Tuesday, the Department of Health said. He had been exposed to a household member who was positive, officials said.

The second man died Wednesday and was in the 40- to 59-year-old age group, they said. His death was reported by the Honolulu Medical Examiner because he died unattended at home, officials said. His family reported he had symptoms but did not seek medical care.

Of those 31 deaths since the outbreak began in Hawaii, 24 have been on Oahu, six on Maui, and one was a Kauai resident who died on the mainland.

“Unfortunately, projections for increases in COVID case and ICU bed utilization are being realized,” Health Director Bruce Anderson said in a news release this morning.

“Given the incubation period of COVID can be as long as 14 days, we are seeing the result of exposures a week or two ago and it will probably be at least a couple of weeks before we can expect to see the benefit of the restrictions on these activities and events on Oahu,” he said. “We all need to act now. Avoid crowded places, closed spaces and close contact. Your life and the lives of your loved ones and friends will depend on it.”

Health Department officials said “many of the intensive care units on Oahu are full or close to full and hospitals are surging, transferring patients, and opening new units to handle new patients. ICU bed use on the neighbor islands has not changed significantly to date.”

Today’s statewide coronavirus case total includes 2,741 on Oahu, 181 in Maui County, 123 on Hawaii island, and 47 in Kauai County, according to health officials. The total also includes 23 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

Hawaii has seen a string of days with triple-digit increases in new coronavirus cases, which prompted Gov. David Ige to announce Thursday the reinstatement of the 14-day quarantine for interisland travel arrivals to all islands except Oahu, starting Tuesday.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell also announced the closure from Saturday through Sept. 4 of city parks and Oahu beaches in addition to other restrictions. And Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said police would be stepping up enforcement of coronavirus restrictions.

>> RELATED: Recreationists react to closures of city and state parks, beaches and campgrounds

As of today, 1,617 infections in Hawaii are known to be active cases, with a total of 1,467 patients now classified by health officials as “released from isolation,” or about 47% of those infected. The category counts those infected people who have met the criteria for being released from isolation. Twenty-seven new release cases — 24 on Oahu and three on Maui — were reported today.

Today was the first day in months that the number of active infections was more than 50% of the total number of cases since the outbreak started.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii cases, 231 have required hospitalizations, with six new hospitalizations on Oahu reported today, health officials said. On Thursday, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said there were 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 229 hospitalizations within the state, 198 have been on Oahu, 26 on Maui, four on Hawaii island, and one on Kauai.

By county, Honolulu has seen 1,161 patients released from isolation, and Maui has had 145 patients released. Hawaii County has eight active infections, while Kauai has none, according to Health Department figures.

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