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215 new coronavirus cases as Hawaii’s total tally climbs to 6,984

  • Video courtesy Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell

    U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams joined Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Gov. David Ige today for a news briefing to address the spread of COVID-19.

  • GEORGE F. LEE / AUG. 21
                                An empty park and playground at Mother Waldron Park in Kakaako. <a href="https://www.staradvertiser.com/2020/08/25/hawaii-news/confusion-continues-regarding-gathering-restrictions-on-oahu/" target="_self">Confusion continues regarding new gathering restrictions on Oahu</a> aimed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

    GEORGE F. LEE / AUG. 21

    An empty park and playground at Mother Waldron Park in Kakaako. Confusion continues regarding new gathering restrictions on Oahu aimed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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Hawaii health officials today reported 215 new coronavirus cases in Hawaii, with 52% attributed to community spread, as the statewide total since the start of the pandemic climbed to 6,984.

The recent run of triple-digit daily increases prompted today’s announcements of a stay-at-home, work-from-home order for Oahu for two weeks, starting Thursday, and a new surge testing program. The moves are aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

“It’s about saving lives and getting us back to a place where our economy can again thrive,” Lt. Gov. Josh Green said today during a news conference this morning. “And it’s difficult without strong orders.”

Today’s new COVID-19 cases include 201 on Oahu, 11 on Hawaii island and three in Maui County, according to the state Department of Health’s noon tally. Health officials said today’s new cases included 180 adults and 35 children under the age of 18. Three of the new cases are travel related, 112 cases are attributed to community spread and 100 other cases are pending investigation, officials said.

As of today, 4,699 infections are considered active cases statewide, with 4,472, or 95%, of those cases on Oahu, Green said.

A total of 2,236 patients are now classified by health officials as “released from isolation,” or about 32% of those infected. The category counts those infected people who have met the criteria for being released from isolation. Sixty-four new release cases — 62 on Oahu and two on the Big Island — were reported today.

The statewide coronavirus case totals by county since the beginning of the outbreak include 6,382 on Oahu, 303 on Maui County, 220 on Hawaii island and 56 on Kauai County, according to health officials. The total also includes 23 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

The state’s coronavirus-related death toll stands at 49. A total of 41 deaths have been on Oahu, seven on Maui, while one was a Kauai resident who died on the mainland. The U.S. death toll is over 178,000 today.

Gov. David Ige said today that the new “stay-at-home, work-from home order,” which goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, does not affect the neighbor islands.

At today’s news conference, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell discussed a new partnership with the federal and state government to offer free testing on Oahu with the goal of completing 60,000 tests within two weeks.

“Hopefully we’ll see the number decline to a number where we can manage our contact tracing and everything else that we need to do,” Caldwell said.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams joined Ige, Caldwell and Green to discuss increasing testing in communities and counties with recent surge in cases. With the federal governnment’s assistance, 5,000 tests will be administered a day over 12 days across the island starting Wedneday at no charge to those tested. Anyone interested in signing up for testing should go to doineedacovid19test.com.

Adams said now is the right time to take action with Hawaii’s limited capacity of hospitalizations.

“You have the power to make it temporary by doing your part to slow the spread,” he said.

Officials counted 2,307 new tests in today’s tally, with today’s 215 positive cases representing 9.3% of the total tested. Of the 183,157 coronavirus tests conducted so far by state and clinical laboratories in Hawaii since the start of the outbreak, a total of 3.8% have been positive.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii cases, 419 have required hospitalizations, with 20 new hospitalizations on Oahu reported today, health officials said.

Green said hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients have grown from 105 on Aug. 10 to 270 people today, with 50 patients now in intensive care units. He said 52% of the state’s 244 ICU beds and 24% of the 459 ventilators are now in use, by both coronavirus and non-virus patients.

Two hospitalizations in the statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 417 hospitalizations within the state, 372 have been on Oahu, 36 on Maui, eight on Hawaii island, and one on Kauai.

By county, Honolulu has seen 1,869 patients released from isolation, and Maui has had 168 patients released. Hawaii County has 74 active infections, while Kauai has two, according to Health Department figures.

Hawaii’s daily new-case count hit triple digits for the first time in late July, and has remained there for most of August, with the vast majority of confirmed infections on Oahu. On Aug. 13, the state’s daily new-case count reached a record 355.

>> RELATED: Confusion continues regarding gathering restrictions on Oahu

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