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Hawaii sees 150 new COVID-19 infections

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAN. 1
                                Beachgoers enjoy the sea and sand at Waikiki Beach on Monday. Hawaii Department of Health said Thursday a total of 7,901 passengers arrived in Hawaii on Wednesday according to data compiled by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. A total of 4,025 people reported they came to Hawaii for vacation, while 1,107 people indicated they were returning residents.

    JAMM AQUINO / JAN. 1

    Beachgoers enjoy the sea and sand at Waikiki Beach on Monday. Hawaii Department of Health said Thursday a total of 7,901 passengers arrived in Hawaii on Wednesday according to data compiled by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. A total of 4,025 people reported they came to Hawaii for vacation, while 1,107 people indicated they were returning residents.

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Hawaii health officials today reported 150 new coronavirus infections, bringing the state’s total since the start of the pandemic to 24,058 cases.

The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll remains at 318 with no new deaths reported today.

The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll includes 249 fatalities on Oahu, 45 on Hawaii island, 20 on Maui, one on Kauai, and three 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 at 51, but state officials have not verified coronavirus as a factor in six of those fatalities. Hawaii County has reported no coronavirus-related deaths in the last two weeks.

The U.S. coronavirus death toll was above 390,000 today with total coronavirus cases across the nation now topping 23.4 million. A COVID-19 variant that emerged in the U.K. could become a dominant strain in the U.S. by March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Center said today.

Today’s new statewide infection cases reported by the Health Department include 111 on Oahu, 26 on Maui, five on the Big Island, one on Kauai and seven residents diagnosed outside of Hawaii, officials said.

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

The total number of coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 19,691 on Oahu, 2,055 in Hawaii County, 1,400 on Maui, 171 on Kauai, 106 on Lanai and 25 on Molokai. There are also 610 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

State health officials said Thursday they are investigating COVID-19 clusters on Oahu and Maui recorded within the past 14 days. Officials said there are no clusters in Hawaii County and Kauai County under investigation within the past 14 days.

According to Thursday’s report of COVID-19 clusters under investigation on Oahu by state health officials within the past 14 days, correctional facilities saw the largest number of infections with 597 total cases and two clusters. Health officials reported one cluster of 31 total cases from social gatherings such as parties, weddings, funerals and other group gatherings. Food suppliers such as grocery stores, food distributors, farms and food pantries saw 30 total cases from two clusters. Health officials did not identify the locations of the clusters.

In the same report, Maui saw a total of 108 cases from clusters at three different residential apartment complexes. Maui County District Health Office was alerted to an increase of cases in late December. Maui District Health Office said earlier this month the spike in confirmed cases in Maui County is believed to have stemmed from holiday gatherings.

Hawaii health officials said today that of the state’s total infection count, 2,193 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 decreased by 88 today.

By island, Oahu has 1,594 active cases, Maui has 416, the Big Island has 155, Kauai has 25 and Molokai has three, according to the state’s latest tally. Lanai has no active COVID cases.

Health officials counted 5,812 new COVID-19 test results in today’s tally, for a 2.58% statewide positivity rate. The state’s 7-day average positivity rate is 2.8%, according to the Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 1,596 have required hospitalizations, with no new hospitalizations reported today by state health officials.

Four hospitalizations in the statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 1,592 hospitalizations within the state, 1,401 have been on Oahu, 92 on the Big Island, 86 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 104 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of 8:30 a.m. Thursday, with 24 in intensive care units and 19 on ventilators.

State health officials have started posting the total number of vaccinations administered statewide. As of Wednesday, the department said 40,386 individuals have been vaccinated since Jan. 9 — including 25,613 in Honolulu County, 4,182 in Maui County, 4,251 in Hawaii County, and 2,740 in Kauai County. The vaccination numbers are updated weekly.

Oahu moved to the less-restrictive Tier 2 of Honolulu’s four-tier economic recovery plan on Oct. 22. 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 111 and the seven-day average positivity rate is 3.4%, according to Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi.

>> RELATED: Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi won’t change current tier system

Blangiardi said Thursday he hoped to stay in Tier 2, a four-tiered framework established by former Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Under Tier 3, social gatherings of up to 10 would be allowed, up from 5 under Tier 2, and retail businesses would be able to operate at full capacity, rather than 50% capacity under Tier 2.


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


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