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Hawaii sees 9th straight day of triple-digit cases; 233 new infections send state’s total over 40K

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    Lt. Gov. Josh Green joins Spotlight Hawaii.

                                People gathered to relax and enjoy the beach at Ala Moana Regional Park on Feb. 14.


    People gathered to relax and enjoy the beach at Ala Moana Regional Park on Feb. 14.

Hawaii today marked the ninth day in a row of triple-digit infections with 233 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases, bringing the state’s total since the start of the pandemic to 40,125 cases.

No new virus-related fatalities were reported today so the statewide COVID-19 death toll remains 527. The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll includes 408 fatalities on Oahu, 58 on Maui, 56 on Hawaii island, two on Kauai and three Hawaii residents who died outside the state.

The U.S. coronavirus-related death toll today is over 610,000 and the nationwide infection tally is more than 34.3 million.

State health officials said Thursday that the alarming spike in daily case counts was linked to the highly transmissible delta variant as well community spread mostly by unvaccinated individuals.

>> RELATED: Spike in COVID infections driven by delta variant, social gatherings, the unvaccinated, officials say

During a Thursday news conference, Hawaii Department of Health spokesman Brooks Baehr said the spike is a result of widespread community transmission, and he encouraged unvaccinated individuals to get their shots.

“We do occasionally see that vaccinated people get infected, but overwhelmingly, the number of new cases we’re seeing are among unvaccinated people,” Baehr said.

Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 151 new cases on Oahu, 39 on Hawaii island, 13 on Maui,12 on Kauai, and 18 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state.

State health officials have been including probable infections in its total case counts. 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 29,333 on Oahu, 4,873 on Maui, 3,597 in Hawaii County, 500 on Kauai, 115 on Lanai and 81 on Molokai. There are also 1,626 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 856 on Maui, 846 on Oahu, 80 on Hawaii island, 24 on Molokai, three on Kauai, three on Lanai and 62 residents diagnosed outside the state.

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

Health officials also said today that, of the state’s total infection count, 1,634 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 increased today by 151.

By island, Oahu has 1,127 active cases, the Big Island has 277, Maui has 136, Kauai has 93 and Molokai has one.

Health officials counted 5,226 new COVID-19 test results in today’s tally, for a 4.46% statewide positivity rate. The state’s 7-day average positivity rate is 4.1%, according to the Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard.

The latest Hawaii COVID-19 vaccine summary says 1,739,884 vaccine doses have been administered through state and federal distribution programs as of Thursday, up 3,614 from a day earlier. Health officials say that 59.6% of the state’s population is now fully vaccinated, and 66.2% have received at least one dose.

>> RELATED: Calls for more COVID vaccinations failing to get through to Hawaii residents

Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 2,609 have required hospitalizations, with 11 new hospitalizations reported today.

Fourteen hospitalizations in the overall statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 2,595 hospitalizations within the state, 2,121 have been on Oahu, 303 on Maui, 151 on the Big Island, 14 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 74 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of today, with 17 in intensive care units and 11 on ventilators.

On the Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii this morning, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said he does not favor bringing back pandemic restrictions at this time. Instead he is urging everyone to take a “two-week pause,” and to avoid social gatherings, especially the unvaccinated.

Green said people should also re-commit to masking indoors.

“Big picture, the delta variant is infectious; it’s very, very contagious,” Green said. “It’s spreading all over the country. Virtually every state is seeing a rise.”

However, he said the state will watch hospitalization rates, which remain manageable at this time. It would be concerning if those numbers spike above 300 as they did last August, he said.

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

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