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Hawaii records 2 new coronavirus-related deaths, 1,678 additional infections

  • JAMM AQUINO / APRIL 26
                                Pedestrians without masks walk along Kalakaua Boulevard in Waikiki in April.

    JAMM AQUINO / APRIL 26

    Pedestrians without masks walk along Kalakaua Boulevard in Waikiki in April.

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UPDATE: 3:45 p.m.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green believes “at least 600 or 700 of the cases appear to be a part of the backlog” of confirmed COVD-19 test cases reported by the state.

“The extreme increase in testing, which is necessary, is making it more difficult for the Department of Health to give a day-to-day updated count,” Green told the Star-Advertiser today.

Green said the state reported a clean 1,035 cases on Friday. On Aug. 13, the state reported 1,167 cases, but that number included backlogged cases.

“No matter how you slice it — COVID-19 is running roughshod through the islands and people must take necessary steps to protect themselves. Vaccinate. Mask, Distance. Stay home when sick. Avoid crowds,” he said.

2:26 p.m.

Hawaii Department of Health spokesman Brooks Baehr released the following statement in response to the 1,678 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 infections statewide reported today.

“COVID-19 case counts reported by the Department of Health come from more than 80 laboratories. The laboratories send their test results to a company that aggregates the information. The data is then sent to the Hawaii Health Information Exchange (HHIE). HHIE reports the data to the Department of Health for documentation, analysis, and public reporting.

“In this case, one of the more than 80 labs failed to get its results to the company that aggregates test results. This reporting error happened between a single lab and the company that aggregates the test results.

“This was not a breakdown within the DOH, but it does illustrate what can happen when systems are pushed to their limits. Hawai’i is in the midst of a crisis. Health systems are experiencing unprecedented stress.

“The total number of cases reported today by the lab in question includes the backlogged case count and today’s count. The numbers are combined and DOH does not have a breakdown of backlogged cases vs. today’s cases.

“As always, trends are more important than single day counts. Hawai’i continues to trend in the wrong direction. The upward trend will not slow until more of us take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and our community. It is imperative we wear masks, get vaccinated and distance ourselves from those not in our household, work or school bubbles.”

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Hawaii Department of Health officials today reported two new coronavirus-related deaths and 1,678 new confirmed and probable infections statewide, bringing the state’s totals since the start of the pandemic to 589 fatalities and 62,229 cases.

Health officials say the two people who died were female and hospitalized with underlying health conditions. One was in her 60’s, the other in her 70’s.

Hawaii has now surpassed 10,000 new COVID-19 cases in the past 14-days, with 10,817 cases documented in the last two weeks.

“This tidal wave of cases is straining our ability to respond at all levels — our hospitals, our labs and even our morgues are nearing or at capacity,” said Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char in a release. “We have not yet reached the peak of this surge, and we will not until Hawaii residents take further steps to protect themselves and their families.”

According to the state, one Hawaii lab experienced system errors from Aug. 15 through Aug. 25, so today’s case count includes this lab’s backlog of cases.

The issue has been resolved and is indicative of the intense strain on the state’s health infrastructure, officials said.

The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll includes 455 fatalities on Oahu, 68 on Maui, 59 on Hawaii island, three on Kauai and three Hawaii residents who died outside the state.

The U.S. coronavirus-related death toll today is over 637,000 and the nationwide infection tally is more than 38.7 million.

Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 1,239 new cases on Oahu, 147 on Maui, 214 on Hawaii island, 55 on Kauai, one on Molokai, two on Lanai, and 20 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 43,866 on Oahu, 7,265 on Maui, 7,430 in Hawaii County, 1,243 on Kauai, 131 on Lanai and 159 on Molokai. There are also 2,135 Hawaii residents who were diagnosed outside of 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, 10,817 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 880.

By island, Oahu has 7,362 active cases, the Big Island has 1,840, Maui has 1,165, Kauai has 402, Lanai has 12 and Molokai has 36.

The latest Hawaii COVID-19 vaccine summary says 1,848,431 vaccine doses have been administered through state and federal distribution programs as of Friday, up 7,454 from a day earlier. Health officials say that 62% of the state’s population is now fully vaccinated, and 70% have received at least one dose.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 3,444 have required hospitalizations, with 74 new hospitalizations reported today.

Seventeen hospitalizations in the overall statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 3,427 hospitalizations within the state, 2,782 have been on Oahu, 397 on Maui, 220 on the Big Island, 21 on Kauai, five on Lanai and two on Molokai.

According to the latest information from the department’s Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard, a total of 430 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of Friday, with 92 in intensive care units and 74 on ventilators.

The seven-day average case count for Oahu is 601 and the seven-day average positivity rate is 8.9%, state health officials said today.

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