The state Department of Health reported 485 new confirmed and probable coronavirus infections Saturday, the second-highest daily total since the start of the pandemic.
The latest tally brings the total number of cases detected in Hawaii to 42,410. No new virus-related fatalities were reported, so the statewide COVID-19 death toll remained at 537.
The new cases included 315 on Oahu, 101 on Hawaii island, 42 on Maui, nine on Kauai and 18 residents diagnosed outside of the state. The statistics released Saturday reflect new infection cases reported to the department Thursday.
The latest numbers come a day after the state reported a record 622 new infections due to a combination of the highly contagious delta variant and a backlog of uncounted cases from earlier in the week because of a problem with laboratory testing results.
Hawaii is in the midst of the greatest surge in coronavirus cases so far this year, which has state officials stepping up the urgency in their calls for unvaccinated residents to get the shots. So far 60.1% of the state’s population is now fully vaccinated and 66.9% have received at least one dose, according to DOH.
The department also said there were 2,996 active cases, an increase of 343 from the previous tally. Three weeks ago the total was under 700.
Fourteen new hospitalizations were reported Saturday. According to Friday’s update on the DOH’s Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard, a total of 117 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals, with 23 in intensive care units and 12 on ventilators. Lt. Gov. Josh Green said Saturday in an Instagram post that hospitalizations had climbed to 129.
The last time Hawaii had more than 100 COVID- 19 patients in hospitals was Jan. 29.
Hospital officials said Friday that although they are seeing an increase in patients admitted with COVID-19, they have an adequate availability of beds — for now.
The Hilo Medical Center reported Saturday that it experienced an influx of COVID-19 cases overnight, with the number of hospitalized patients doubling from six to 12 — all unvaccinated.
“The hospital, which has been very busy the past few months, is nearing full capacity with limited beds available. Our Emergency Department is also is extremely busy. We are seeing a large spike of patients needing testing, examination and treatment for COVID,” the hospital said in a news release.
Given the situation, the hospital’s Emergency Department is banning visitors until further notice, except for pediatric patients and “highly critical, end-of-life situations,” the release said.
Regular inpatient visiting hours remain in place for now but the hospital said that could change in light of “the current COVID outbreak among the unvaccinated population.”
Hawaii County announced a free coronavirus test clinic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo. The county is recommending testing for anyone who may have been exposed to the virus.
On Oahu, Hawai‘i Pacific Health’s Pier 2 Vaccination Center closed after administering its last dose Saturday. The vaccine clinic is moving to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, where individuals ages 12 and older will be able to get vaccinated beginning Monday.
Since it opened in January, the Pier 2 clinic administered more than 184,000 vaccine doses.
According to an HPH news release, the clinic is relocating to the Kapiolani hospital in preparation for the anticipated availability of the COVID-19 vaccine for children younger than 12.
Scheduled appointments and walk-in vaccinations will be available from 8 a.m. to noon Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and noon to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Appointments can be scheduled online at HawaiiPacificHealth.org/COVIDVaccine.
Walk-in vaccinations also are available daily from noon to 6 p.m. at Straub Medical Center’s Ward Village Clinic & Urgent Care at 1001 Queen St., Suite 102, and at Doctors on Call at the Sheraton Waikiki. At this time, the Straub clinics are only offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
HPH’s COVID-19 Vax Squad Bus remains in operation. Schedule an appointment online for a first dose at HawaiiPacificHealth.org/COVIDVaxSquad. To date, the HPH COVID-19 Vax Squad has administered more than 11,000 doses since launching in May.
The Queen’s Health Systems also announced changes to its vaccination clinic at the Blaisdell Center, which is relocating from the Concert Hall to the Pikake Room effective Thursday. In preparation for the move, the clinic will be closed today through Wednesday. All appointments have been rescheduled.
Hours of operation will be 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday through Monday. Appointments are recommended but walk-ins are welcome. The parking entrance to the clinic will be off King Street; parking is free.
The Blaisdell Vaccination Clinic already has administered nearly 150,000 vaccine doses, with nearly 265,000 doses administered across The Queen’s Health Systems.
The vaccination clinic at The Queen’s Medical Center- West Oahu remains open from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, with walk-ins accepted from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.