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Hawaii sees 2 more deaths and a record 355 new coronavirus cases

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  • GEORGE F. LEE / AUG. 10
                                Public access to nearly all park amenities remained closed in Waikiki on Sunday due to coronavirus restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

    GEORGE F. LEE / AUG. 10

    Public access to nearly all park amenities remained closed in Waikiki on Sunday due to coronavirus restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

Hawaii Department of Health officials today reported a single-day record of 355 new COVID-19 cases, and the coronavirus-related deaths of two Oahu men, both over 60 years old.

The statewide death toll since the start of the outbreak is now 40. Thirty-one other deaths have been on Oahu, six on Maui, and one was a Kauai resident who died on the mainland.

The 355 new cases include at least 86 new cases as part of an existing cluster at the Oahu Community Correctional Center, officials said.

Today there were 343 new cases on Oahu, seven on Maui, four on Hawaii island, and one on Kauai, bringing the statewide total for coronavirus cases since the pandemic began to 4,312. As a result of updated information, one case from Oahu was removed from the tally.

“We are headed in the wrong direction,” Gov. David Ige said this afternoon during a Zoom press conference, warning the stay-at-home order may return and the pre-travel testing program may be delayed if cases continue climbing.

Hawaii’s coronavirus case total includes 3,900 on Oahu, 198 in Maui County, 139 on Hawaii island, and 52 in Kauai County, according to health officials. The total also includes 23 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

Kauai County this afternoon announced two new cases — one case which will most likely be counted in the DOH’s Friday tally — bringing the Garden Island’s total to 53. A minor contracted COVID-19 from a household member while the other case was an adult who traveled to Kauai from outside of the state, according to a news release. Both are currently in isolation. The state recently began a partial interisland quarantine for travelers flying to any of the neighbor islands.

“Our recent cases show that the mandatory traveler quarantine is an important tool in protecting our island from spreading disease here,” said Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami in a news release. “I can only hope that the 355 new cases reported across the state today serves as a wake-up call for both our visitors and residents that now is simply not the time for leisurely travel.”

As of today, 2,556 infections in Hawaii are known to be active cases, with a total of 1,716 patients now classified by health officials as “released from isolation,” or about 40% of those infected. The category counts those infected people who have met the criteria for being released from isolation. The state reported 89 new release cases today.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii cases, 267 have required hospitalizations, with 16 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 265 hospitalizations within the state, 232 have been on Oahu, 27 on Maui, five on Hawaii island, and one on Kauai.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green said this afternoon over 150 people with COVID-19 are currently hospitalized, with 29 people in intensive care units and 22 on ventilators. Of the 244 ICU beds, 137 or 56% are currently occupied, according to a news release. Of the 459 ventilators available, 73 or 16% are currently being used.

“Look guys, this is a very important time for us to be safe,” Green said. “You will hear additional advice from the governor, from me and others in the coming days. I really want to encourage everyone to lay low this weekend; Lives are on the line.”

By county, Honolulu has seen 1,392 patients released from isolation, and Maui has had 157 patients released. Hawaii County has 18 active infections, while Kauai has six, according to Health Department figures.

Of the 153,617 coronavirus tests conducted so far by state and clinical laboratories in Hawaii since the start of the outbreak, about 2.8% have been positive. Officials counted 3,384 new test results in today’s tally, with the 355 positive results representing 10.5% of the total, the highest one-day rate so far for Hawaii.

Health officials said today at least 116 cases are attributed to OCCC, with 24 staff and 92 inmates testing positive for the virus.

>> RELATED: 93 cases at OCCC after 70 more inmates, 7 corrections officer test positive for coronavirus

Another cluster of 20 cases at the Institute for Human Services Sumner Men’s Shelter in Iwilei are still under investigation. State officials said the shelter is being temporarily established as a quarantine and isolation facility.

“At this juncture, isolating the positive cases at the shelter and providing quarantine beds and wrap-around services for the other occupants to stay in place is the best strategy for preventing the spread of the virus,” Eddie Mersereau, the Health Department’s deputy director of the Behavioral Health Administration, said in a news release.

The shelter will be temporarily closed to new admissions for reorganization and cleaning as individuals in isolation and quarantine complete their stay there for at least 14 days, officials said.

Health officials are also investigating the cluster of cases at Honolulu Hale, which includes 11 individuals who may have been infected during social gatherings at offices.

On Aug. 3, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell issued an executive order banning indoor and outdoor social gatherings on Oahu of more than 10 people due to the surge of COVID-19 cases on Oahu. A city spokesman said no positive virus cases were tied to the July 24 farewell party for a longtime employee in the Purchasing Division.

“With the virus actively being spread throughout the community on Oahu, congregate settings like prisons and institutions are at increased risk of introduction and should prepare as the Department of Public Safety and IHS have done,” Health Director Bruce Anderson said in a news release today. “These agencies were ready and stepped into action quickly, working with the DOH on control and prevention measures to protect those at risk and the community. We extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the latest people to succumb to this disease.”

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