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State confirms 2nd case of COVID-19 variant from U.K. found in another Oahu resident with no history of travel

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / DEC. 6
                                Wahiawa Health conducts a drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Dec. 6. Visit <a href="https://www.oneoahu.org/covid19-testing" target="_blank">oneoahu.org/covid19-testing</a> for more information about COVID-19 screening sites.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / DEC. 6

    Wahiawa Health conducts a drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Dec. 6. Visit oneoahu.org/covid19-testing for more information about COVID-19 screening sites.

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UPDATE: 2:45 p.m.

The Hawaii Department of Health State Laboratories Division today confirmed a second case of the super-spreading COVID-19 strain first discovered in the United Kingdom has been found in another Oahu resident with no history of travel.

State health officials reported Friday the first case was also an Oahu resident with no history of travel, and said today the individuals are not known to have had contact with one another.

Hawaii health officials earlier this week warned that the 60% more highly contagious U.K. strain, known as B1.1.7, may be circulating in the islands, a potential setback in the race to vaccinate as many residents as possible before exposure to new strains.

“The DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division is continuing active investigation of both cases and ensuring that both individuals are isolating, and contacts are in quarantine,” according to a news release.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

Hawaii Department of Health officials today reported 108 new coronavirus infections, bringing the state’s total since the start of the pandemic to 26,393 cases.

State health officials reported no new coronavirus-related deaths today as the statewide death toll remains at 416.

The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll includes 333 fatalities on Oahu, 53 on Hawaii island, 26 on Maui, one on Kauai, and three Hawaii residents who died outside the state.

The U.S. coronavirus-related death toll was more than 461,000 today.

Today’s new statewide infection cases reported by the Health Department include 86 on Oahu, 16 on Maui, one case each on the Big Island, Kauai and Lanai, and three residents diagnosed outside of Hawaii, officials said. As a result of updated information, one case from Oahu was removed from the counts.

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

The total number of coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 21,289 on Oahu, 2,188 in Hawaii County, 1,849 on Maui, 179 on Kauai, 109 on Lanai and 25 on Molokai. There are also 754 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.

Health officials also said today that of the state’s total infection count, 1,318 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 24 today.

By island, Oahu has 964 active cases, Maui has 278, the Big Island has 71, Kauai has three, and Lanai has three, according to the state’s latest tally. Molokai has no active COVID cases.

Health officials counted 9,206 new COVID-19 test results in today’s tally, for a 1.17% statewide positivity rate. The state’s 7-day average positivity rate is 1.8%, according to the Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 1,745 have required hospitalizations, with 13 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 1,741 hospitalizations within the state, 1,526 have been on Oahu, 104 on Maui, 98 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 64 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of Friday morning, with 17 in intensive care units and 13 on ventilators.

Health officials said that as of Jan. 31, 157,018 vaccines have been administered of the 227,600 received by the state. The administered vaccinations by county are Honolulu, 105,500; Maui, 14,391; Hawaii, 15,035 and Kauai, 11,755. The total also included several thousand administered under the federal pharmacy program. State officials release the verified 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 61 and the seven-day average positivity rate is 2.4%, according to Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi.

Blangiardi has said 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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