Hawaii health officials on Saturday reported 108 new coronavirus infections statewide, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 16,519 cases.
The official state Department of Health coronavirus-related death toll remained unchanged at 222, with 173 fatalities on Oahu, 31 on Hawaii island, 17 on Maui and one Kauai resident who died on the mainland. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency says the Big Island’s COVID- 19 death toll is actually 48, however, state health officials have yet to verify coronavirus as a factor in 17 of those deaths.
Meanwhile, the U.S. coronavirus death toll grew to more than 245,000 on Saturday.
The new infections in Hawaii include 90 on Oahu, 12 on Hawaii island, three on Kauai and one on Maui. Two Hawaii residents were diagnosed outside the state, according to the Health Department. As a result of updated information, one previous infection on Oahu was removed from the state’s tally.
Maryknoll School reported in an email Saturday to the school community that officials were notified Friday “of two possible COVID situations” involving high school faculty members. The email said the school learned Saturday that one had tested positive. All close contacts were immediately notified, according to the email from Interim School President Shana Tong.
As a result, she said all high school students will switch to distance learning effective Monday and athletic practices and training have been suspended until Nov. 30. Grade school instruction will continue as scheduled.
Health Department officials said the latest count of new cases came from 5,318 COVID-19 test results — a 2% statewide positivity rate.The breakdown of coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak shows: 14,261 on Oahu, 1,471 on Hawaii Island, 444 on Maui, 106 on Lanai, 80 on Kauai and 17 on Molokai. An additional 140 Hawaii residents were diagnosed while outside of the state.
Also Saturday, Kauai County officials announced that three male residents were among the island’s latest cases, two of whom had recently traveled. One of the travelers participated in the Safe Travels program and had a negative pre-travel test but subsequently tested positive, according to a news release. The source of infection for the third case, who was hospitalized, remains under investigation.
Of the state’s total infection count, 1,454 cases are considered active statewide, according to health officials. The DOH replaced the “released from isolation” statistic, which had been used to calculate the number of active cases, with “cases in the past 14 days.” They said this new classification serves as a “proxy number for active cases” and is based on infections reported in the past 14 days. The total number of active cases rose by 40 Saturday.
The number of active cases by island shows 1,135 on Oahu, 196 on the Big Island, 36 on Maui, 16 on Kauai and seven on Lanai, plus 64 residents diagnosed while outside the state.
Of the confirmed Hawaii infections, 1,209 have required hospitalization, with 15 new hospitalizations on Oahu reported by state health officials Saturday.
According to the latest data from the department’s Hawaii COVID-19 Data Dashboard, a total of 63 patients with the coronavirus were in Hawaii hospitals as of Friday, with 14 in intensive care units and one on a ventilator.
Oahu moved to the less-restrictive Tier 2 of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s four-tier economic recovery plan on Oct. 22. The mayor’s office said that to gauge whether Honolulu can move to another tier, the city takes a weekly assessment of two key COVID-19 numbers each Wednesday.
To move to Tier 3 from Tier 2, the seven-day average of new cases must be below 50 on two consecutive Wednesdays. Also, the seven-day average positivity rate, or percentage of tests coming back positive, must be below 2.5% on those two Wednesdays. The current seven-day average case count for Oahu is 80 and the positivity rate was 3%, according to the mayor.
Caldwell also announced Saturday that the city’s mobile testing laboratory at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport has been approved as a trusted testing partner for intercounty travel.
Those traveling to Kauai, Maui County or Hawaii County can bypass the 14-day travel quarantine by testing negative for COVID-19 at a trusted testing partner within 72 hours of departure. If a result is not received prior to arrival, the traveler must quarantine until the DOH receives a negative test result.
Travelers to Hawaii County also may take a post-arrival test but have to quarantine until their negative test results are verified.