UPDATE: 3:50 p.m.
The latest deaths reported today were two Oahu women in their 60s with underlying health conditions who had been hospitalized with COVID-19, state health officials said.
Hawaii health officials referred to CDC in defining “underlying medical conditions,” such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, down syndrome, heart conditions, weakened immune system from a solid organ transplant, obesity, severe obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking and Type 2 diabetes.
According to the latest information from the department’s Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard, a total of 27 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of this morning, with five in intensive care units and three on ventilators.
Meanwhile, state health officials said they administered hundreds of Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which were received on Wednesday.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is similar to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in that they are all highly effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death, but different because Johnson & Johnson is a single-shot regimen,” said state Department of Health Director Elizabeth Char in an email statement.
Hawaii Department of Health officials today reported two new coronavirus-related deaths and 54 infections, bringing the state’s totals since the start of the pandemic to 443 fatalities and 27,753 cases.
No further information was immediately available regarding the latest deaths on Oahu.
The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll includes 353 fatalities on Oahu, 53 on Hawaii island, 33 on Maui, one on Kauai, and three Hawaii residents who died outside the state.
The U.S. coronavirus-related death toll today was more than 522,000 and the nationwide infection tally is more than 28.8 million.
Today’s new statewide infection cases reported by the Health Department include 29 on Oahu, 18 on Maui, four on Hawaii island, and three residents diagnosed outside of Hawaii.
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 22,055 on Oahu, 2,256 in Hawaii County, 2,273 on Maui, 184 on Kauai, 108 on Lanai and 27 on Molokai. There are also 850 Hawaii residents who were diagnosed outside of the state.
Health officials also said today that of the state’s total infection count, 639 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 increased by four today.
By island, Oahu has 347 active cases, Maui has 257, the Big Island has 31, and Kauai has four. Molokai and Lanai have no active cases.
Health officials counted 5,302 new COVID-19 test results in today’s tally, for a 1.02% 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, 1,893 have required hospitalizations, with two new hospitalizations reported today by state health officials.
Six hospitalizations in the statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 1,887 hospitalizations within the state, 1,634 have been on Oahu, 138 on Maui, 101 on the Big Island, eight 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 28 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of Thursday morning, with five in intensive care units and three on ventilators.
The state’s Hawaii COVID-19 vaccine summary said today that 391,116 vaccines have been administered of the 496,050 received by the state. About 16.1% of the general population in Hawaii has received at least one dose of the vaccine, while about 64% of those ages 75 and over have received one dose.
Of the administered vaccines, 367,622 were given to the general public and 23,494 were distributed through the federal pharmacy program, officials said.
Oahu moved into the less-restrictive Tier 3 of the city’s four-tier economic recovery plan Thursday after being in Tier 2 since Oct. 22. Tier 3 permits social and outdoor recreational gatherings of up to 10 people, and restaurants to seat 10 people at a table, up from five now. Tier 3 also allows funeral services with up to 25 attendees, and group fitness classes indoors with up to 10 participants. Gym capacity can increase to 50%. Restaurants and spiritual services can operate at full capacity as long as the establishments maintain 6 feet of distancing.
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 from Tier 3 to the least-restrictive Tier 4, the 7-day average of new cases must be below 20 on two consecutive Wednesdays. Also, the 7-day average positivity rate must be below 1% on those two Wednesdays. The earliest that Oahu could move into Tier 1 would be late March since it needs to stay in each tier for at least four weeks.
Today’s seven-day average case count for Oahu is 24 and the seven-day average positivity rate is 0.9%, according to Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi.
This breaking news story will be updated as more information becomes available.