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Hawaii records 2 new coronavirus-related deaths, 69 additional cases

                                People wearing masks walk near Pier 2 on March 17.
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People wearing masks walk near Pier 2 on March 17.

Hawaii Department of Health officials today reported two new coronavirus-related deaths and 69 new confirmed and probable infections statewide, bringing the state’s totals since the start of the pandemic to 513 fatalities and 37,353 cases.

No further information was immediately available regarding the latest deaths.

The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll includes 397 fatalities on Oahu, 57 on Maui, 54 on Hawaii island, two on Kauai and three Hawaii residents who died out of state.

The U.S. coronavirus-related death toll today is nearly 602,000 and the nationwide infection tally is more than 33.5 million.

Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 44 new cases on Oahu, 10 on Maui, 13 on Hawaii island and two on Kauai.

State health officials began including probable infections in its total case counts last month. Probable infections include people who never received a confirmatory test but are believed to have had the virus because of their known exposure and symptoms or because of a positive antigen test.

The total number of confirmed and probable coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 27,641 on Oahu, 4,648 on Maui, 3,205 in Hawaii County, 348 on Kauai, 115 on Lanai and 79 on Molokai. There are also 1,317 Hawaii residents who were diagnosed outside of the state.

Today’s probable infections since the start of the pandemic added to the counts today include 818 on Maui, 776 on Oahu, 68 on Hawaii island, 24 on Molokai, four on Kauai, three on Lanai and 52 residents diagnosed outside the state.

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

Health officials also said today that, of the state’s total infection count, 653 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 state’s total number of active cases decreased today by 12.

By island, Oahu has 324 active cases, the Big Island has 165, Maui has 141 and Kauai has 23.

Health officials counted 3,596 new COVID-19 test results in today’s tally, for a 1.92% statewide positivity rate. The state’s 7-day average positivity rate is 1.1%, according to the Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard.

The latest Hawaii COVID-19 vaccine summary says 1,637,582 vaccine doses have been administered through state and federal distribution programs as of Thursday, up 9,781 from a day earlier. Health officials say that 56% of the state’s population is now fully vaccinated, and 61% have received at least one dose.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 2,420 have required hospitalizations, with four new hospitalizations reported today. 

Ten hospitalizations in the overall statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 2,410 hospitalizations within the state, 1,991 have been on Oahu, 272 on Maui, 132 on the Big Island, nine 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 37 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of Friday, with nine in intensive care units and three on ventilators.

Oahu on Friday moved into the less-restrictive Tier 4 of the city’s four-tier economic recovery plan. The change allows social gatherings of up to 25 people at outdoor venues, including at parks and beaches, but the group size for indoor social gatherings remains at 10 people.

The seven-day average case count for Oahu is 23 and the seven-day average positivity rate is 1.1%, state health officials said today.

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

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