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Hawaii Health Department warns of high COVID activity

The Hawaii Department of Health issued a Wednesday news release reminding the public to be vigilant amid high levels of COVID-19 activity in the state.

DOH said its Respiratory Disease Dashboard shows COVID activity level is red, or at a high activity level, indicating the virus is circulating at high levels compared with historic trends.

“This high level means that recommended precautions are more important for reducing risk,” said DOH in the news release.

On Wednesday, DOH also reported an average positivity rate of 15.9% today, up from 14.7% last week. The average positivity rate on May 1 was at 4.3%.

Hospitalizations also continue to rise, with DOH recording a weekly average of 98 COVID patients per day in Hawaii hospitals, up from 96 the previous week. On Wednesday, eight of those COVID patients are in intensive care.

The percentage of emergency department visits has also been on the rise, with a sharp increase in the past few weeks.

DOH recommends the following:

>> Get your COVID-19 shot if you have not yet received the 2023-24 COVID-19 vaccine, or if you are eligible for an additional dose (adults 65 and over and those who are immune compromised). Keeping up to date lowers your risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

>> If you are feeling sick, stay home and away from others. Return to usual activities only if fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines, and symptoms are improving. Wear a mask when around people indoors for five additional days.

>> Wear a well-fitting mask indoors with other people can help protect yourself and those around you, especially if you are recovering from COVID-19 symptoms.

>> Stay outdoors or in well-ventilated areas is a simple action that can help reduce COVID-19 transmission.

>> Practice good hygiene. Cover your coughs and sneezes, clean frequently touched surfaces, and wash your hands often.

>> Take a COVID-19 test if you have symptoms and might need treatment. Antiviral treatments for COVID can prevent hospitalization and death, but work best when taken as soon as possible after symptoms begin.

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