(BIVN) – Separate news conferences were held by State and County officials on Wednesday, following the announcement that Hawaiʻi had reached a new record for COVID-19 cases.
Today’s total of 109 new cases is the first time the State of Hawaiʻi has seen a triple digit tally in a single day.
The State of Hawaiʻi shared this information following the governor’s news conference held on Oʻahu:
At a news briefing Wednesday, Gov. Ige addressed the latest spike in COVID-19 cases. He said while the State is concerned about the high numbers, it was anticipated because the State laboratory was not testing during Hurricane Douglas. DOH reported a total of 109 cases overnight. Gov. Ige also assured the public the spike is manageable, and Hawai‘i still has adequate healthcare capacity. However, he is now proposing counties reinstate some measures in coordination with the State in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This includes limiting social gatherings to 10 people or fewer. The exception would be controlled environments like DOE, UH, and other cohorts where safe practices are being followed and monitored. Second, re-close bars. Third, work with counties to reinstate restrictions on gatherings in parks, consistent with the 10 or fewer people rule – although this time prohibiting structures like tents and bouncy houses. Lastly, re-evaluating guidelines issued for sports activities.
Gov. Ige said, “We are all responsible for each other. Public health officials and all the available data say the best defense against COVID-19 is still taking personal responsibility. We cannot become complacent. Stay six feet apart, wear your mask, wash your hands, avoid large gatherings, stay home if you’re sick, and keep your kids home if they’re sick. We can beat this if we all work together.”
Gov. Ige also emphasized that people who are in quarantine must remain in their designated location. Because of the pressing danger from Hurricane Douglas, he allowed people to get supplies. However, the threat has passed, and there is currently no exemption from quarantine for this reason.
Lieutenant Governor Josh Green also joined in on the governor’s news conference. He provided his usual update on Hawai‘i’s healthcare capacity. Green said there are currently 624 active cases in the state, and added:
- 112 out of 244 ICU beds are in use (46%)
- Of the ICU beds in use, 15 are COVID-19 positive
- 64 out of 459 ventilators are in use (14%)
- Of the ventilators in use, 9 are COVID-19 positive
- Currently 61 patients who are confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19 are hospitalized
- Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve had 167 hospitalizations cumulative-to-date
According to the State:
Lt. Gov. Green pointed out that hospitalizations usually lag behind daily case counts because it takes time for the disease to progress in patients. To date, there has been a roughly 11-percent hospitalization rate for people who catch COVID-19. Lt. Gov Green said, “While our healthcare capacity is fine now, if this surge in cases continues, we can expect to see an increase in hospitalizations and possible fatalities. We need everyone to do their part in helping slow the spread of Covid-19, including possible new measures from government as Gov. Ige mentioned, and a greater need for personal responsibility for wearing masks and social distancing.”
Hawaiʻi County did not identify any new cases of COVID-19 today. However, the threat of the spread of the coronavirus continues to impact life on the Big Island. For example, today it was announced that the 38th Annual Kūpuna Hula Festival scheduled for September 9-10, 2020 at the Outrigger Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay has been cancelled.
The County of Hawaii Elderly Activities Division’s “highest priority is the safety and well-being of the kūpuna and community”, officials said. “This Festival showcases talented hula dancers from not only Hawai‘i Island and state-wide, but also from the mainland as well as internationally. Festival highlights include a craft fair at the hotel grounds and two evenings that featured solo and group competitions with a special Ho‘olaulea.”
“It is unfortunate to have to cancel this year’s event, but we look forward to the Festival in 2021,” the County said.