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Records review adds 60 COVID-19-related deaths to Hawaii tally; state records 123 new infections

  • JAMMA QUINO / JAN. 23
                                A view of the Ala Wai Canal is seen on Saturday in Waikiki.

    JAMMA QUINO / JAN. 23

    A view of the Ala Wai Canal is seen on Saturday in Waikiki.

UPDATE: 1:30 p.m.

The state Department of Health has identified and confirmed 60 previously unreported COVID-19-related deaths. The state’s official death toll stands at 342, but will be updated Tuesday with the additional deaths.

The additional COVID-19 deaths bring the state’s total coronavirus-related deaths to 402, with the 60 deaths uncovered after a thorough review of the department’s Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS), DOH Director Dr. Libby Char said in a press release.

The deaths occurred between August through December 2020. Fifty-one deaths were on Oahu, six on Hawaii island and three on Maui, Char said.

“Our close inspection of death certificates not only revealed 60 previously unreported deaths. It also uncovered flaws that led to delays in the current reporting system,” Char said in a statement. “We are implementing changes to the process that will improve the timeliness of COVID-19 death reporting.”

Meanwhile, state health officials today reported the first case of the coronavirus variant, a more contagious strain that has spread quickly through southeastern England.

>> RELATED STORY: Hawaii health officials report first case of new, fast-spreading variant of COVID-19

According to the latest information from the department’s Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard, a total of 89 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of this morning, with 21 in intensive care units and 17 on ventilators.

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Hawaii health officials today reported 123 new infections, bringing the state’s total since the start of the pandemic to 25,275 cases.

The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll remains at 342 with no new deaths reported today.

The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll includes 262 fatalities on Oahu, 45 on Hawaii island, 21 on Maui, one on Kauai, and three Hawaii residents who died on the mainland. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said 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 past three weeks.

The U.S. coronavirus-related death toll was more than 420,000 today.

Today’s new statewide infection cases reported by the Health Department include 91 on Oahu, 21 on Maui, six on the Big Island and five residents diagnosed outside of Hawaii, officials said. As a result of updated information, one case from Oahu was recategorized to Kauai and two cases from Oahu were removed from the counts.

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

The total number of coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 20,524 on Oahu, 2,128 in Hawaii County, 1,626 on Maui, 178 on Kauai, 106 on Lanai and 25 on Molokai. There are also 688 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

Health officials also said today that of the state’s total infection count, 1,656 cases were considered to be active. 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 44 today.

By island, Oahu has 1,228 active cases, Maui has 316, the Big Island has 102, Kauai has 10, according to the state’s latest tally. Lanai and Molokai have no active COVID cases.

Health officials counted 3,442 new COVID-19 test results in today’s tally, for a 3.57% statewide positivity rate. The state’s 7-day average positivity rate is 2.4%, according to the Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 1,664 have required hospitalizations, with four 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 1,660 hospitalizations within the state, 1,456 have been on Oahu, 97 on Maui, 94 on the Big Island, 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 96 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of Friday morning, with 21 in intensive care units and 18 on ventilators.

Health officials said that as of Sunday, 70,095 vaccines have been administered of the 154,150 received by the state. The vaccinations by county are Honolulu, 39,886; Maui, 10,195; Hawaii, 7,011; and Kauai, 5,328. The total also included 7,675 administered under the federal pharmacy program. State officials release the updated vaccination numbers each Wednesday.

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 79 and the seven-day average positivity rate is 3.0%, according to Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi.

Blangiardi said last week 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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