45 New COVID-19 Cases in Hawai‘i; Temporary Reporting Delays Affect Total
Today there were a total of 45 new COVID-19 cases in Hawaiʻi for a total of 2,242 reported over the course of the pandemic. The new cases include 44 on Oʻahu and one on Maui. There are currently 922 active cases in the state, including 32 on Maui. To date, 1294 people have recovered including 133 recovered in Maui County.
State health officials say the daily reporting of positive COVID-19 cases in Hawai‘i has been temporarily affected by missing data on Saturday and again today from Clinical Laboratories of Hawai‘i, a major private laboratory conducting most of tests in the state.
This is the second day, new case numbers dropped from triple digits to double digits, but state health officials say this is not a complete and accurate picture due to the temporary delay in receiving complete data.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park explains, “We are missing electronic laboratory reporting (ELR) data from one of the private clinical laboratories, from July 31 to today. This is likely a result of recent modifications in data reporting required by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. We have advised the affected laboratory to provide manual reporting of data until they’re able to correct the reporting issues. This is impacting our ability to quickly identify and investigate new persons with COVID-19 and to contact trace.” DOH will likely need to update case numbers from Friday on.
All but one of the newly reported cases thus far are on O‘ahu, with one on Maui. In Honolulu, the media reported Saturday on numerous large beach gatherings, including one at Waimea Bay, which involved promotion of a rock jumping contest. A photo provided by a group that is tracking quarantine violators shows a large crowd of young people atop the popular jumping rock on the west side of the bay. It appears no one is wearing masks or practicing physical distancing. On Maui, gatherings of more than 10 people were outlawed last week.
“It’s disappointing and dangerous to people’s health, for anyone to continue to encourage and actively promote these big groups,” said Dr. Park. “Everyone should avoid large gatherings and crowded places and use proven, common-sense, and simple steps to protect our community from COVID-19”.
Avoiding crowds, wearing face masks and using physical distancing are all proven methods for preventing COVID-19. Always obtain information from credible sources such as the CDC and DOH for the best actions to protect yourself, your family, friends and co-workers.
The DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division, which Dr. Park leads, is receiving an increasing number of calls related to COVID-19 guidance for businesses, including cleaning and disinfection guidelines and recommended procedures in response to a positive coronavirus case in an employee. Detailed guidance is available here: https://health.hawaii.gov/coronavirusdisease2019/files/2020/05/What-to-Do-if-a-Person-at-Your-Worksite-has-COVID-19.pdf
People are advised to call 211 for information and guidance on coronavirus. DOH is asking that businesses not call the DOH disease reporting line, as these calls are slowing down investigations and contact tracing efforts.
The case count today was 45 news cases. This comes after Saturday’s 87 cases and Friday’s 123 cases, which marked the third consecutive day that new cases have risen into the triple-digits. The state set a record for its single-day numbers on Thursday with 124 new cases. There ere also 109 new cases on Wednesday across the state.
Island highlights for Saturday, Aug. 2, 2020, are as follows:
- Oʻahu: 1886 total, 1003 recovered, 19 deaths
- Maui: 171 total, 133 recovered, six deaths
- Hawaiʻi County: 115 total, 115 recovered
- Kauaʻi County: 47 total, 43 recovered
- Hawaiʻi Residents Diagnosed Out-of-State: 23 total, one death of a Kauaʻi resident who was hospitalized in Arizona.
- Pending: 0
• 7.31.20: Third Consecutive Day of Triple-Digit Increases in Hawai‘i: 123 New COVID-19 Cases
• 7.30.20: New One-Day Record, Triple-Digit Record for Hawai‘i: 124 New COVID-19 Cases
• 7.29.20: New Record: 109 New COVID-19 Cases in Hawai‘i (98 on O‘ahu, 9 on Maui, 2 on Kaua‘i)
• 7.28.20: 47 New COVID-19 Cases in Hawai‘i: 46 on O‘ahu, 1 on Maui
• 7.27.20: 28 New COVID-19 Cases on O‘ahu; Investigators Search for Bar Patrons for Contact Tracing
• 7.26.20: 64 New Covid-19 Cases in Hawai‘i on Sunday: 55 on O‘ahu, 7 on Maui, 2 on Kaua‘i
• 7.25.20: 3rd Consecutive Day of Record High Numbers on July 25 with 73 New COVID-19 Cases
• 7.24.20: 2nd Day of Record High Numbers on July 24 with 60 New COVID-19 Cases in Hawaiʻi
• 7.23.20: Record High Numbers on Thursday, July 23 with 55 New COVID-19 Cases in Hawaiʻi
In Maui County, cases with onset in the last 28 days have been in all areas of Maui Island except for the rural areas of East Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi. Of the 171 cases documented in Maui County over the course of the pandemic, Wailuku, Kahului and Lahaina had the most cases (more than 20 cases each); followed by Kīhei (11-20 cases); Makawao, Spreckelsville, Kula and Haʻikū (6-10 cases); and Hāna and Molokaʻi (1-5 cases each).
Age breakdown is not available by county; however there is a breakdown of the statewide count. Of the 1688 (excludes 22 residents diagnosed out of state) cases recorded *as of July 27 statewide (updated weekly): 171 were 0-19 years old (one of which required hospitalization); 617 were 20-39 years old (13 of which required hospitalization); 551 were 40-59 years old (41 of which required hospitalization; and four deaths); and 349 were 60+ years old (88 of which required hospitalization; and 21 deaths).
Hawai‘i’s Triple Digit Case Count Has Officials Considering Reinstatement of Measures
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is enacting several new rules amid record triple-digit single day increases in new COVID-19 cases. While state officials said Wednesday’s increase was anticipated, the governor said he would be working with the mayors to reinstate some of the measures that were relaxed in recent weeks.
Governor David Ige on Wednesday said he would be looking at social gatherings of no more than 10 individuals, revisit the closure of bars, and limit social gatherings at beaches and parks.
Mayor Victorino’s recommendations on Maui include updated Public Health Emergency Rules that limit indoor and outdoor social gatherings to no more than 10 people. The use of large structures that may attract gatherings, such as tents and pavilions, are also prohibited at beaches and parks. The rules went into effect on July 31, 2020.
Maui County has six COVID-19 related deaths
- Maui reported its first COVID-19 related death on Monday, April 6, of an adult male over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions and exposure to travelers.
- The second Maui death was announced on Wednesday, April 8, and was an unattended death.
- A third death in Maui County reportedly occurred on April 7, but was reported in the state count on Friday, April 10. The third case involved an elderly individual who was in the chronic care unit.
- The fourth case was confirmed on April 19, and was an adult male from Washington state in the 40-59-year age group who had no previous medical conditions. State health officials say the man’s exposure history may be travel-related. The man had been hospitalized for an extended period in serious condition at Maui Memorial Medical Center.
- The fifth Maui case occurred on Monday April 20 and involved a man who had underlying health conditions. He had been in the hospital at Maui Memorial Medical Center since late last year. This person’s death is considered related to the MMMC cluster.
- The sixth Maui case was reported on May 3, 2020. The case involved a woman, over the age of 60, with underlying medical conditions. She had been in the hospital at Maui Memorial Medical Center since late February. Her infection occurred in mid-April. “COVID-19 is not believed to be the primary cause of death, due to her other serious illnesses, but may have been a contributing factor to her passing,” health officials said.
On Monday, July 13, Gov. David Ige announced he is delaying the launch of the state’s pre-travel testing program by a month to Sept. 1, 2020. He also announced the extension of Hawai‘i’s 14-day quarantine on trans-Pacific travel to the end of August. The governor said he still believes in the program and reports that the state has made progress, but said spikes on the mainland and here at home have stalled the program that many equate to the reopening of tourism in Hawaiʻi.
He agreed that the developments will make economic recovery more challenging for Hawaiʻi.
A separate quarantine in place for interisland travel was lifted on Tuesday, June 16.; however, on Friday July 24, amid record increases in cases statewide, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino asked Governor David Ige to reinstate the 14-Day interisland quarantine. As of the time of this posting, no decision had been made on the request. Upon lifting the interisland quarantine, the state implemented thermal screening, a new interisland travel form and a more robust contact tracing program.
This applies only to air travel within the state, and anyone arriving into the state is still subject to a 14-day quarantine as outlined above.
The state has since selected NEC Corporation, NEC Corporation of America and their partner, Infrared Cameras Inc., to provide thermal temperature screening and facial imaging technology at Hawaiʻi’s public airports.
The thermal temperature screening equipment was installed immediately at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, Kahului Airport, Līhuʻe Airport, Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole and Hilo International Airport.
- Phase 1 will have the temperature scanners installed this month at the gates currently being used for arriving trans-Pacific flights.
- Phase 2 will have the temperature scanners installed at the remaining gates in the coming weeks.
- Phase 3 expects to have the facial imaging equipment installed by Dec. 31, 2020.
Hawaiʻi School Board Votes to Approve Delayed Start of School by Two Weeks
The Hawaiʻi Board of Education on Thursday night (July 30, 2020) voted to postpone the start of the school year by two weeks to Aug. 17th. The delay provides assurances that health and safety preparedness concerns relating to COVID-19 are addressed and that there’s enough time for employee training in protocols and virtual learning tools. The board postponed action on a separate motion that sought to waive the statutory law that requires 180 days of instruction, and will revisit the matter at a later date.
The discussion comes amid record breaking daily COVID-19 case counts in Hawaiʻi. The state recorded another triple-digit record breaking day for new COVID-19 infections with a total of 124 new cases in the state on Thursday.