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Hawaii records 2 more deaths and 202 new coronavirus cases

Hawaii has recorded two more deaths and another 202 new coronavirus cases today, according to state officials and Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

The two latest fatalities were Oahu men between 40-59 years old, at least one of whom had underlying health conditions, health officials said. The statewide death toll now stands at 38.

The statewide total for coronavirus cases since the pandemic began is now 3,958.

On the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” this morning, Green announced the 202 new cases and said 66 people with COVID-19 are currently hospitalized. He said today’s new cases came as a result from 2,726 tests for a positive rate of 7.4%.

Health officials later confirmed the new-case figure in a news release and said of the 202 newly diagnosed cases of COVID-19, 197 are on Oahu, while Hawaii island and Kauai each had two, and Maui reported one.

They said there are multiple clusters of infections, including five at restaurants; “however, each involves a few employees at single locations, and no transmission to customers has been identified at this time. An employee potluck at Honolulu Hale is a potential transmission source for 11 cases of illness among City and County of Honolulu workers.”

However, a Honolulu city spokesman said later this afternoon that no virus cases have been linked to the gathering, which he said was held outside with physical distancing and pre-packaged food.

State Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson said in the Health Department news release, “The important factor to keep in mind is, community-associated infections continue to be the responsible for the surge in COVID-19 cases in the past week and a half. The virus is transmitted though droplets, and that’s why wearing masks and distancing is so important. We must all continue these and other safe practices.” The department is investigating these cases and working with these establishments on quarantine and prevention measures for their staff. There is no risk to the public at this time and no cases beyond the workers. As more information becomes available it will be shared.

Anderson extended condolences to the family and friends of four Oahu men whose coronavirus-related deaths were reported Tuesday and today.

The deaths of two of the men, both over 60-years-old, were reported Tuesday afternoon but included in today’s counts. Investigations into all of the deaths are ongoing, officials said.

Thirty-one coronavirus-related deaths have been on Oahu, six on Maui, and one was a Kauai resident who died on the mainland.

RELATED STORY: Hawaii’s rise in COVID-19 infections has landed it on New York’s travel quarantine list

Hawaii’s coronavirus case total includes 3,558 on Oahu, 191 in Maui County, 135 on Hawaii island, and 51 in Kauai County, according to health officials. The total also includes 23 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

As of today, 2,255 infections in Hawaii are known to be active cases, with a total of 1,665 patients now classified by health officials as “released from isolation,” or about 42% of those infected. The category counts those infected people who have met the criteria for being released from isolation. The state reported 38 new release cases today, 34 on Oahu and two each on the Big Island and Maui.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii cases, 260 have required hospitalizations, with nine new Oahu 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 258 hospitalizations within the state, 226 have been on Oahu, 26 on Maui, five on Hawaii island, and one on Kauai.

By county, Honolulu has seen 1,345 patients released from isolation, and Maui has had 155 patients released. Hawaii County has 16 active infections, while Kauai has five, according to Health Department figures.

Of the 150,233 coronavirus tests conducted so far by state and clinical laboratories in Hawaii since the start of the outbreak, about 2.6% have been positive.

Correction: The coronavirus case total for Hawaii island since the pandemic began is 135 as of today. An earlier version of this story had a larger number.

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