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Hawaii sees 628 new infections and 2 additional coronavirus-related deaths

                                Jonathan Hinshaw, a medical lab technician, runs COVID-19 tests in the mobile lab at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.
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Jonathan Hinshaw, a medical lab technician, runs COVID-19 tests in the mobile lab at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

A day after reporting a single-day record of coronavirus cases, Hawaii today saw 628 new confirmed and probable infections and two coronavirus-related deaths statewide.

The state’s totals since the start of the pandemic now stand at 540 fatalities and 45,245 cases.

“High numbers on this Aloha Friday, largely from Delta’s circulation amongst unvaccinated,” Lt. Gov. Josh Green said in an Instagram post. “Stay safe, enjoy a quiet weekend, and encourage friends and family to go to one of this weekend’s many vaccination events.”

The latest deaths included an Oahu resident and a Hawaii island resident. Both men were in their 70s with underlying health conditions when they were hospitalized with COVID-19, state health officials said in an email.

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.

Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 424 new cases on Oahu, 64 on Maui, 110 on Hawaii island, nine on Kauai and 21 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.

On Thursday, Hawaii Department of Health officials reported a record 655 new cases which they blamed on widespread community transmission along with clusters in groups of people who are unvaccinated. A recent cluster report cited the spread of coronavirus among Hawaii residents participating in summer volleyball tournaments on the U.S. mainland.

With the upward trend in coronavirus cases, Gov. David Ige on Thursday announced a mandate for state and county employees to get vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing.

>> RELATED: Hawaii state and county workers not vaccinated against COVID-19 must undergo weekly testing

The total number of confirmed and probable coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 32,562 on Oahu, 5,428 on Maui, 4,594 in Hawaii County, 595 on Kauai, 117 on Lanai and 81 on Molokai. There are also 1,868 Hawaii residents who were diagnosed outside of the state.

The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll includes 414 fatalities on Oahu, 62 on Maui, 59 on Hawaii island, two on Kauai and three Hawaii residents who died outside the state.

Today’s probable infections since the start of the pandemic added to the counts today include 977 on Maui, 891 on Oahu, 120 on Hawaii island, 24 on Molokai, six on Kauai, three on Lanai and 70 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, 4,781 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 390.

By island, Oahu has 3,209 active cases, the Big Island has 986, Maui has 490, Kauai has 94, Lanai has two and Molokai has none.

Health officials counted 8,860 new COVID-19 test results in today’s tally, for a 7.09% statewide positivity rate. The state’s 7-day average positivity rate is 6.8%, according to the Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard.

The latest Hawaii COVID-19 vaccine summary says 1,774,560 vaccine doses have been administered through state and federal distribution programs as of Thursday, up 3,259 from a day earlier. Health officials say that 60.6% of the state’s population is now fully vaccinated, and 67.8% have received at least one dose.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 2,814 have required hospitalizations, with 11 new hospitalizations reported today.

Sixteen hospitalizations in the overall statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 2,798 hospitalizations within the state, 2,275 have been on Oahu, 324 on Maui, 177 on the Big Island, 16 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 164 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of Thursday, with 30 in intensive care units and 18 on ventilators.

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

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