Older adults may be the most vulnerable to COVID-19, but 20- and 30-somethings are the ones driving the disease in Hawaii.
The state’s coronavirus age data, released in new graphics on the state Department of Health’s website Monday, mirrors what’s happening in the rest of the country, with young adults in some areas now making up the largest and fastest-growing demographic contracting the virus.
“While the death rates are clearly higher for older people, the data suggest that the bulk of the disease activity is occurring now among the 18- to 29-year-old category, which has the highest number of total cases, followed by those in the 30- to 39-year-old group,” State Epidemiologist Sarah Park said Monday.
That activity, however, isn’t reflected in the deaths (none, officially) and hospitalizations for those in the two younger demographics — 1.3% of cases in the 18-29 group and 1.8% for ages 30-39.
Park said young adults generally are not getting very sick, but they are spreading a lot of the infection and helping to worsen Hawaii’s epidemic.
Meanwhile, more than 8% of those 80 and older who have contracted COVID-19 have died, state data indicates. Of those 70 and older who test positive, 4.6% have died.
Health officials on Monday reported the deaths of two more octogenarians, bringing to 49 the number of coronavirus-related fatalities since the start of the pandemic here in late February. The victims were a man and woman, both from Oahu with underlying health conditions.
No further information was provided about the fatalities.
Officials also reported 169 new coronavirus cases Monday, marking four straight weeks of triple-digit daily case counts, including a record 355 on Aug. 13.
Some 250 people were in the hospital with COVID-19, including 42 patients in intensive care units and 34 on ventilators, officials said.
The positivity rate continued to be on the high side. There were 2,026 new tests in Monday’s tally, with positive cases representing 8.3% of the total.
The Health Department on Monday unveiled new charts and graphics on its website illustrating statistics on race, age and gender. Officials said the charts would be updated weekly.
Here are some of the facts that can be found in the charts:
>> Pacific Islanders have the highest percentage of case counts at 30%, even though the group represents only 4% of the state’s overall population.
>> Filipinos account for 17% of the total cases, which is close to their representation in the state population, but they represent 25% of all those who have died.
>> The number of men and women being hospitalized for COVID-19 is nearly equal: 189 for men and 174 for women. But males have a higher number of cases at 3,535 compared to 3,211 for females. Men account for more than twice as many deaths as women.
In other COVID-19 developments Monday:
>> The Department of Transportation announced that phase two of the new thermal temperature screening equipment installation was completed Thursday at Hawaii’s five airports that accept trans-Pacific flights. A total of 133 cameras are now operational and available to detect people with a body temperature of 100.4 degrees and above.
>> A total of 1,854 people arrived in Hawaii on 33 flights, including 390 visitors and 738 returning residents, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
>> An asymptomatic juvenile recently admitted to the Hale Hoomalu Juvenile Detention Facility tested positive, the first confirmed case at the facility located next to the Kapolei Judiciary Complex. The youth, who was in quarantine, was moved to the medical isolation unit and tested on Wednesday after learning that a household member had tested positive.
>> The Honolulu Police Department reported that the department’s hotline to report COVID-19 violations receives approximately 130 phone calls and a dozen emails per day, plus an additional 150 calls with questions about the virus, testing and city services.