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Hawaii Department of Education reports 325 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 50 students

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                                Hawaii Department of Education interim superintendent Keith Hayashi

    STAR-ADVERTISER

    Hawaii Department of Education interim superintendent Keith Hayashi

The Hawaii Department of Education saw a large increase in COVID-19 cases reported by public schools and offices over the last seven days, the first full week for most students returning for the new school year.

Schools and complex areas reported a total of 325 confirmed cases between Aug. 7 and Aug. 13 — up from 105 cases a week earlier.

But officials said a majority of the cases had no direct impact on school facilities, as the department is required by law to list all cases reported to it.

Excluding cases where the infected person was not on campus or where no disinfection of school facilities was required, there were 50 student cases — 35 at elementary schools and 15 at secondary schools — and 20 staff cases.

“The total case count is higher this week, but considering the size of our organization — more than 200,000 students and employees across the department — and the level of transmission occurring in the broader community, I think it’s a testament to our schools’ safety protocols that we saw 70 confirmed cases over the past week that had an impact to a HIDOE campus,” interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi said in a news release.

“Although ideally we’d want no cases, it’s important to commend our schools for working diligently to minimize exposure and prevent the spread of COVID by enforcing the core essential strategies, including promoting vaccinations for all who are eligible,” the superintendent said.

State health officials today recorded 1,167 new confirmed and probable infections statewide, the highest single-day count since the start of the pandemic.

The state has averaged 729 new COVID-19 cases a day over the past three days. In contrast, the state’s seven-day daily average just a month ago was 50 cases.

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