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Hawaii health officials report 17 new coronavirus infections, but say glitch depressed daily tally

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Beach-goers relax and enjoy Ala Moana Regional Park on Sunday.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Beach-goers relax and enjoy Ala Moana Regional Park on Sunday.

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UPDATE: 6:30 p.m.

State health officials said today’s low daily infection count was due to the state’s electronic laboratory reporting system being temporarily interrupted.

The Department of Health reported only 17 new coronavirus cases today, the lowest daily number for Hawaii since July. But health officials said this afternoon that the cases were under-counted because of the glitch and that they expect a “rebound effect” of higher counts in the coming days as the reporting feeds are re-established.

Today’s count was based on just 459 test results, a small fraction of the usual daily number of tests tabulated.

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Hawaii Department of Health officials today reported 17 new coronavirus infections, bringing the state’s total since the start of the pandemic to 26,906 cases.

State health officials reported no new coronavirus-related deaths as the statewide death toll remains at 426.

The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll includes 340 fatalities on Oahu, 53 on Hawaii island, 29 on Maui, one on Kauai, and three Hawaii residents who died outside the state.

The U.S. coronavirus-related death toll is more than 487,000 today and the nationwide infection tally is over 27.7 million.

Today’s new statewide infection cases reported by the Health Department include 13 on Oahu, three on Maui and one resident diagnosed outside of Hawaii, officials said.

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

The total number of coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 21,633 on Oahu, 2,216 in Hawaii County, 1,950 on Maui, 179 on Kauai, 108 on Lanai and 27 on Molokai. There are also 793 Hawaii residents who were diagnosed outside of the state.

Health officials also said today that of the state’s total infection count, 850 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 45 today.

By island, Oahu has 621 active cases, Maui has 184, the Big Island has 40, Molokai and Lanai have two each, and Kauai has one, according to the state’s latest tally.

Health officials counted 459 new COVID-19 test results in today’s tally, for a 3.7% statewide positivity rate. The state’s 7-day average positivity rate is 1%, according to the Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 1,800 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 1,796 hospitalizations within the state, 1,570 have been on Oahu, 113 on Maui, 100 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 38 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of this morning, with 14 in intensive care units and 9 on ventilators.

Health officials said that as of Feb. 7, 218,997 vaccines have been administered of the 288,050 received by the state. Of the administered vaccines, 201,553 were given to the general public and 17,444 were distributed through the federal pharmacy program, officials said. State officials release the verified updated vaccination numbers each Wednesday.

>> RELATED: More public school students in Hawaii head back to campus

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 37 and the seven-day average positivity rate is 1.2%, according to Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi. The mayor announced Friday that Oahu will remain in Tier 2 through March 15 unless the county’s metrics fall below levels that would allow a move to another tier.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

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