comscore Saturday’s spike in new Oahu coronavirus cases attributed to outbreak at Halawa prison, Honolulu mayor says | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Saturday’s spike in new Oahu coronavirus cases attributed to outbreak at Halawa prison, Honolulu mayor says

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / 2016
                                The Halawa Correctional Facility’s parking lot. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said today many of Oahu’s new cases are a result of an outbreak at the Halawa prison.

    STAR-ADVERTISER / 2016

    The Halawa Correctional Facility’s parking lot. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said today many of Oahu’s new cases are a result of an outbreak at the Halawa prison.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                The Hawaii Foodbank, in partnership with the First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu, distributes food to about 1,000 households on Friday. The coronavirus pandemic has greatly increased the need for food assistance in Hawaii.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    The Hawaii Foodbank, in partnership with the First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu, distributes food to about 1,000 households on Friday. The coronavirus pandemic has greatly increased the need for food assistance in Hawaii.

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Hawaii health officials today reported two additional coronavirus-related deaths and 198 new infections statewide, bringing the totals since the start of the pandemic to 271 fatalities and 19,148 cases.

No further information was immediately available regarding the latest deaths on Oahu. Hawaii State Department of Health officials did not yet specify the reason for today’s spike in new cases with Oahu seeing the biggest jump.

Oahu today recorded 153 new coronavirus cases, a 168% increase from the 57 cases reported Friday.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said today many of Oahu’s new cases are a result of an outbreak at the Halawa Correctional Facility, which the Department of Public Safety on Friday reported confirmed cases among 68 inmates and 21 staff.

“While many of the cases today are being added from Halawa prison, we are expecting a bump in cases from the Thanksgiving holiday,” Caldwell said in a tweet. “This serves as a reminder of the cost of gathering while #COVID19 is still active in our communities.”

Halawa implemented a lockdown and suspended all inmate movement within the facility and transfers to and from the facility, for at least 14 days.

“HCF immediately enacted its pandemic protocol to isolate these inmates and begin mitigation efforts. Our security and medical staff are working around the clock to safeguard staff and inmates and keep the virus from spreading. I am so proud of everyone at the facility for their dedication to pulling through this situation as a team,” said Hawaii Department of Public Safety Director Max Otani said in a news release Friday.

Today’s new infection cases in Hawaii include 153 on Oahu, 22 on Maui, 17 on the Big Island, five on Kauai, and one Hawaii resident diagnosed outside the state, according to the Health Department. As a result of updated information, one case on Oahu was removed from the counts, officials said.

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

The official state Department of Health coronavirus-related death toll includes 208 fatalities on Oahu, 43 on Hawaii island, 17 on Maui, one on Kauai, and two Hawaii residents who died on the mainland. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said today that the Big Island’s COVID-19 death toll remained 49; state health officials have yet to verify coronavirus as a factor in six of those deaths.

The U.S. coronavirus death toll is more than 296,000 today as infection cases surpassed 16 million.

>> RELATED: Hawaii hospitals gearing up to immunize thousands of front-line workers

Health officials counted 4,782 COVID-19 new test results, for a 4.14% statewide positivity rate.

The total number of coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 16,211 on Oahu, 1,708 in Hawaii County, 684 on Maui, 130 on Kauai, 106 on Lanai, and 22 on Molokai. There are also 287 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

Hawaii health officials said that of the state’s total infection count, 1,293 cases are considered to be active. Health officials say they consider infections reported in the past 14 days to be a “proxy number for active cases.” The number of active cases in the state rose by 122 today.

By island, Oahu has 996 active cases, Maui has 155, Big Island has 118, Kauai has 19, and Molokai has five, according to the latest tally.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 1,361 have required hospitalizations, with four new hospitalizations reported today by state health officials.

Three hospitalizations in the statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 1,358 hospitalizations within the state, 1,197 have been on Oahu, 81 on the Big Island, 67 on Maui, seven on Kauai, five on Lanai, and one on Molokai.

According to the latest information from the department’s Hawaii COVID-19 data dashboard, a total of 58 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of noon Friday, with 21 in intensive care units and 17 on ventilators.

Oahu moved to the less-restrictive Tier 2 of Honolulu 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 must be below 2.5% on those two Wednesdays.

Today’s seven-day average case count for Oahu is 74 and the positivity rate was 2.2%, according to Caldwell.


This breaking news story will be updated as more information becomes available.


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