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Hawaii sees 95 new coronavirus infections; Big Island officials report 1 new death

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                                Beachgoers enjoy spending Christmas Day outdoors along the shores of Waikiki.


    Beachgoers enjoy spending Christmas Day outdoors along the shores of Waikiki.

Hawaii health officials today reported 95 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 20,983 cases.

The state Department of Health reported no new deaths, however Hawaii County officials said today that one coronavirus-related death on the Big Island was reported over the past week. They gave no details on the latest fatality but offered condolences to the person’s family and friends.

The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll remains at 285, with the Department of Health counting 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 the Big Island’s COVID-19 death toll rose to 51 with the death reported today

The U.S. coronavirus death toll topped 333,000 today as coronavirus cases across the nation topped 18.8 million.

>> RELATED: 1 of every 17 in U.S. has been infected and 1 in 1,000 has died, but worst may lie ahead

Today’s new statewide infection cases reported by the Health Department include 72 on Oahu, 18 on Maui, three on the Big Island, one on Kauai, and one Hawaii resident diagnosed outside of the state, officials said.

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

Health officials counted 2,724 COVID-19 new test results in today’s tally, for a 3.5% statewide positivity rate.

The total number of coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 17,605 on Oahu, 1,862 in Hawaii County, 893 on Maui, 143 on Kauai, 106 on Lanai and 22 on Molokai. There are also 352 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

Hawaii health officials said that of the state’s total infection count, 1,701 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 14 today.

By island, Oahu has 1,344 active cases, Maui has 203, the Big Island has 146, and Kauai has eight, according to the latest tally. Molokai and Lanai no longer have active COVID cases.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 1,445 have required hospitalizations, with no 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 1,442 hospitalizations within the state, 1,271 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 64 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of Thursday, with 11 in intensive care units and 10 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 79 and the positivity rate is 3.2%, 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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