Health officials today reported two more coronavirus-related deaths on Oahu and 277 new infections statewide today, raising the Hawaii’s fatality rate to 51 and the total case count to 7,260 since the start of the pandemic.
The state Department of Health said both fatalities were hospitalized men who had underlying health conditions. One was in the 50 to 59-year-old age group, and the other was between 60-to-69-years old.
“The tragic loss of our loved ones and our neighbors is devastating and sadly, more deaths are expected as our case numbers continue to be high,” state Health Director Bruce Anderson said in a news release. “We can work together to reduce hospitalizations and deaths by consistently practicing the 3W’s (wash your hands, watch your distance, wear your mask), and abiding by all State and County restrictions currently in place. We all can do our part to get the infection rate across Hawaii back under control,” he said.
A total of 43 Hawaii 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 179,000 today.
In reaction to the surge of infections on Oahu, Gov. David Ige and Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced yesterday a “stay at home, work from home” lockdown order for two weeks beginning at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
Oahu had 245 new cases today for a total of 6,626, Hawaii island had 23 new cases for a total of 243 since the start of the pandemic, and Maui had eight new cases for a total of 311. The total statewide counts also include 24 Hawaii residents who were diagnosed out of state, with one new case reported today.
One case from Oahu was also removed from the tally today “as a result of updated information,” officials said.
Health officials said there are indications that infections in Honolulu are beginning to stabilize, but they are concerned about growing cases on Maui and Hawaii island.
Clusters on Maui include cases at an assisted living facility and new cases associated with a hospital, the Health Department said.
“Along with our county partners, we are closely monitoring these trends,” state Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said in the news release. “We have concerns that ongoing gatherings, especially with inconsistent mask use or distancing, are contributing.”
Officials said that two recent large gatherings — a beach gathering and a large funeral — on the Big Island were of particular concern. They said social media videos from the funeral showed people not physically distancing or wearing masks, and that more than 500 tests have been administered to people who attended the funeral.
Hawaii’s long run of triple-digit increases in daily new cases has led the federal government to join with state and Honolulu leaders to start “surge testing” today on Oahu, with plans to administer 5,000 people each day over the next 12 days. For more information or to make a test reservation: www.doIneedacovid19test.com.
>> RELATED: Oahu restaurant owners fear effects of shutdown
As of today, 4,921 infections are considered active cases statewide, with a total of 2,288 patients are now classified by health officials as “released from isolation,” or nearly 32% of those infected. The category counts those infected people who have met the criteria for being released from isolation. Fifty-two new release cases — 41 on Oahu, seven on Maui and four on the Big Island — were reported today.
Officials counted 2,518 new tests in today’s tally, with today’s 277 positive cases representing 11% of the total tested. Of the 185,675 coronavirus tests conducted so far by state and clinical laboratories in Hawaii since the start of the outbreak, a total of 3.9% have been positive.
Of all the confirmed Hawaii cases, 444 have required hospitalizations, with 25 new hospitalizations — 18 on Oahu, four on Maui and three on the Big Island — reported today, health officials said.
Lt. Gov. Josh Green said today there are now 291 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients in Hawaii hospitals, with 54 of them in intensive care units and 35 on ventilators. He said that 153, or 63%, of the state’s 244 ICU beds, and 80, or 17%, of Hawaii’s 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 442 hospitalizations within the state, 390 have been on Oahu, 40 on Maui, 11 on Hawaii island, and one on Kauai.
By county, Honolulu has seen 1,910 patients released from isolation, and Maui has had 175 patients released. Hawaii County has 93 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.