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Hawaii reports 1 additional coronavirus death on Big Island and 71 new infections statewide

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                People wearing masks cross Bethel Street in Honolulu on Tuesday. 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.

    JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    People wearing masks cross Bethel Street in Honolulu on Tuesday. 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.

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Hawaii health officials today reported one coronavirus-related death on Hawaii island and 71 new infections statewide, bringing the totals since the start of the pandemic to 223 fatalities and 16,734 cases.

The latest reported fatality was a man in his 20s who had underlying medical conditions and was hospitalized when he died, officials said this afternoon. They did not say when the death occurred, but it is likely to be one of the fatalities previously reported by Hawaii County that the state has been working to verify as coronavirus-related.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said today that the Big Island’s COVID-19 death toll remains at 49, however, state health officials have yet to verify coronavirus as a factor in 17 of those deaths.

The official state Department of Health coronavirus-related death toll includes 173 fatalities on Oahu, 32 on Hawaii island, 17 on Maui, and one Kauai resident who died on the mainland.

The U.S. coronavirus death toll, meanwhile, surpassed 250,000 today.

Today’s new infection cases in Hawaii include 59 on Oahu, two each on Maui and the Big Island, 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 and one case of an out-of-state resident were removed from the state’s tally.

The statistics released today reflect the cases reported to the department through 11:59 p.m. Monday.

Department officials said today’s new case count came from 4,528 COVID-19 tests, for a 1.6% statewide positivity rate.

Today’s total coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 14,431 on Oahu, 1,487 in Hawaii County, 545 on Maui, 106 on Lanai, 82 on Kauai, and 17 on Molokai. There are also 157 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

Hawaii health officials said that of the state’s total infection count, 1,420 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 20 today.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 1,221 have required hospitalizations, with nine new hospitalizations — seven on Oahu and one each on Kauai and Hawaii Island — reported today by state health officials.

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Two hospitalizations in the statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 1,219 hospitalizations within the state, 1,076 have been on Oahu, 73 on the Big Island, 58 on Maui, six on Kauai, five on Lanai, and one on Molokai.

According to the latest data from the department’s Hawaii COVID-19 data dashboard, a total of 82 patients with COVID-19 were in Hawaii hospitals as of noon on Tuesday, with 19 in intensive care units and 15 on ventilators.

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 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 2.6%, according to Caldwell.

Oahu is not expected to move into Tier 3, which would allow larger social gatherings than Tier 2 permits, by Thanksgiving, 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,” he said. “But it really depends on what we do and how we act.”

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