Hawaii health officials today reported seven coronavirus-related deaths and 163 new coronavirus infections statewide, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 231 fatalities and 17,098 cases.
The latest deaths, all on Oahu, included six men and one woman, state Department of Health officials said in an email this afternoon. Two of the deaths occurred more than two weeks ago and are being reported today as a result of “new information received from death records,” health officials said.
One man in his 50s died at home with no underlying health conditions. Five of the men were between the ages of 60 and 80 years old, with two of them dying at home and the other three dying in the hospital with COVID-19. Another woman in her 70s was hospitalized with underlying health conditions.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said in a tweet today’s numbers were concerning.
“This year, please think twice about going to a large holiday gathering. It’s not too late to change your plans, spend time with your immediate family, and save lives.” Caldwell tweeted. “We know how hard it is not go be together during this time. This virus does have deadly consequences, and today our hearts go out to the seven families who are grieving the loss of their loved ones.”
The official state Department of Health coronavirus-related death toll rose to 231 and includes 180 fatalities on Oahu, 32 on Hawaii island, 17 on Maui, and two Hawaii residents who died on the mainland.
The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said Friday 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 U.S. coronavirus death toll was more than 255,000 today as the nation surpassed 12 million cases.
Today’s new infection cases in Hawaii include 123 on Oahu, 15 on the Big Island, 12 on Maui, four on Kauai, and nine 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.
The statistics released today reflect the new cases reported to the department through 11:59 p.m. Thursday.
Of the 123 new Oahu cases, 50 include a cluster at the Waiawa Correctional Facility, state health officials said today.
“The Department of Health is working closely with the Department of Public Safety,” said Acting State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble in a news release. “Additional safety measures are being taken to prevent further transmission in the facility. This includes restriction on all movement of inmates which was implemented earlier this week and limiting movement of staff between various parts of the facility to the extent possible. No hospitalizations or deaths have been reported thus far in association with Waiawa.”
Today’s total coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 14,698 on Oahu, 1,527 in Hawaii County, 480 on Maui, 106 on Lanai, 91 on Kauai, and 17 on Molokai. There are also 179 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.
Hawaii health officials said that of the state’s total infection count, 1,340 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 39 today.
Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 1,255 have required hospitalizations, with five 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 1,237 hospitalizations within the state, 1,091 have been on Oahu, 74 on the Big Island, 60 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 72 patients with COVID-19 were in Hawaii hospitals as of noon Friday, with 23 in intensive care units and 10 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 75 and the positivity rate was 2.6%, according to Caldwell.
This breaking news story will be updated as more information becomes available.