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Hawaii reports 120 new coronavirus infections, bringing total to 20,769

  • JAMM AQUINO / DEC. 21
                                Wahiawa Health chief quality officer Cyndy Endrizal distributes meals to people in vehicles during a free drive-thru food drive hosted by Wahiawa Health on Monday in Wahiawa. The coronavirus pandemic has left many Hawaii residents out of work, resulting in many to experience food insecurity.

    JAMM AQUINO / DEC. 21

    Wahiawa Health chief quality officer Cyndy Endrizal distributes meals to people in vehicles during a free drive-thru food drive hosted by Wahiawa Health on Monday in Wahiawa. The coronavirus pandemic has left many Hawaii residents out of work, resulting in many to experience food insecurity.

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Hawaii health officials today reported 120 new coronavirus infections statewide, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 20,769 cases.

The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll remains at 285 with no new deaths reported today.

The official state Department of Health coronavirus-related death toll includes 221 fatalities on Oahu, 44 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 Thursday that the Big Island’s COVID-19 death toll remains at 50, but health officials have yet to verify coronavirus as a factor in six of those Hawaii island deaths.

The U.S. coronavirus death toll topped 329,000 today as coronavirus cases across the nation topped 18.7 million.

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Today’s new statewide infection cases reported by the Health Department include 95 on Oahu, 17 on Maui, eight on the Big Island and none on Kauai, officials said. As a result of updated information, one Oahu case was removed from the counts.

The statistics released today reflect the new infection cases reported to the department on Wednesday.

Separately, the Kauai District Health Office reported two new cases today involving male residents. One case is travel-related, and the other is community-acquired. All active cases are in isolation, and one case is hospitalized on Oahu. Close contacts are being identified, directed to quarantine, and offered testing.

The total number of coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 17,450 on Oahu, 1,856 in Hawaii County, 855 on Maui, 139 on Kauai, 106 on Lanai and 22 on Molokai. There are also 341 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

Hawaii health officials said that of the state’s total infection count, 1,773 cases were 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 40 today.

By island, Oahu has 1,398 active cases, Maui has 195, the Big Island has 167, and Kauai has 13, according to the latest tally. Molokai and Lanai no longer have active COVID cases.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 1,442 have required hospitalizations, with six 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 1,439 hospitalizations within the state, 1,268 have been on Oahu, 86 on the Big Island, 72 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 73 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of 8:30 a.m. Thursday, with 13 in intensive care units and 12 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 99 and the positivity rate is 4.5%, according to Caldwell.

On Monday, Caldwell said new infections among prisoners at Halawa Correctional Facility will no longer be counted in his metrics for the recovery plan. A recent cluster at the prison had been boosting Honolulu’s infection count and threatening to send Oahu back to Tier 1, the most restrictive of the mayor’s four-tier system.

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