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Hawaii sees 53 new COVID-19 cases as statewide coronavirus tally rises to 16,665

  • JAMM AQUINO / NOV. 16
                                Two women prepare to self administer a COVID-19 test under the watchful eyes of medical professionals at the Waikiki Shell COVID-19 testing site on Monday.

    JAMM AQUINO / NOV. 16

    Two women prepare to self administer a COVID-19 test under the watchful eyes of medical professionals at the Waikiki Shell COVID-19 testing site on Monday.

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Hawaii health officials today reported 53 new coronavirus infections statewide, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 16,665 cases.

No additional deaths were reported today despite Hawaii National Guard announcing its first coronavirus-related death.

State health officials are behind in reporting COVID-19 counts.

The official state Department of Health coronavirus-related death toll remains unchanged at 222, and includes 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 said today that the Big Island’s COVID-19 death toll is still 49, however, state health officials have yet to verify coronavirus as a factor in 18 of those deaths.

The U.S. coronavirus death toll is more than 248,000 today.

The state Department of Health did not release its usual daily tally of coronavirus infections on Sunday as they changed their schedule for making the data public. Several weeks ago, the department switched the release time from noon to 3 p.m., but officials said they have decided to again “shift its data window this weekend.” The shift means that health officials are behind in reporting data from Monday. Today’s reported cases include data as of 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

Gov. David Ige on Monday signed a new emergency proclamation to clarify rules regarding the current statewide mask mandate to curb the spread of COVID-19.

>> RELATED: Gov. David Ige imposes new decrees for statewide mask mandate, clarifying previously confusing rules

Today’s new infection cases in Hawaii include 37 on Oahu, six on the Big Island, two on Maui, and eight Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state, according to the Health Department. As a result of updated information, one previous infection case from Oahu was removed from the state’s tally.

Department officials said today’s new case count came from 2,594 COVID-19 tests, for a 1.7% statewide positivity rate.

Today’s total coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 14,373 on Oahu, 1,485 in Hawaii County, 452 on Maui, 106 on Lanai, 82 on Kauai, and 17 on Molokai. There are also 150 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

Hawaii health officials said that of the state’s total infection count, 1,440 cases are currently considered active statewide. Health officials have 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 fell by 26 today.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 1,212 have required hospitalizations, with two new hospitalizations reported today by state health officials.

Two hospitalizations in the statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 1,210 hospitalizations within the state, 1,069 have been on Oahu, 72 on the Big Island, 58 on Maui, five each on Kauai and Lanai, and one on Molokai.

According to the latest data from the department’s Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard, a total of 83 patients with COVID-19 were in Hawaii hospitals as of noon on Monday, with 15 in intensive care units and 10 on ventilators.

Oahu moved to the less-restrictive Tier 2 of Caldwell’s four-tier economic recovery plan on Oct. 22. The mayor’s office says that to gauge whether Honolulu will move to a different tier, the city takes a “weekly assessment” of two key COVID-19 numbers each Wednesday. To move to Tier 3 from Tier 2, the 7-day average of new cases must be below 50 on two consecutive Wednesdays. Also, the 7-day average positivity rate, or percentage of tests coming back positive, must be below 2.5% on those two Wednesdays.

Today’s seven-day average case count for Oahu is 73 and the positivity rate was 2.8%, according to Caldwell. Oahu is unlikely to move into Tier 3 by the Thanksgiving holiday, Caldwell said on Monday.

“It would be a great gift to give to all of us if we can move to Tier 3 before the Christmas holidays,” Caldwell said. “But it really depends on what we do and how we act.”

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