(BIVN) – There were 134 newly reported cases of COVID-19 in the State of Hawaiʻi as of noon on Tuesday. 124 of those new cases were identified on Oʻahu, seven (7) on Maui, and three (3) on Hawaiʻi island. One new death was also reported.
UPDATE – (4:19 p.m.) – From the Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Joint Information Center:
An O‘ahu man, 40-59 years-old, with underlying health conditions is the 41st COVID-19 death since the start of the pandemic. DOH extends its sympathies, along with all of Hawai‘i, to the family and friends of the latest coronavirus victim. DOH reports 134 new positive cases. This is the second lowest daily case count since August 2 and DOH cautions, this is only one day and may not be a trend. DOH continues to track cases and will report progress. Increasing everyone’s use of safe practices – physical distancing, wearing masks, and staying home if sick, will reduce the spread of the virus and bring the state closer to rebuilding the economy.
UPDATE – (4:24 p.m.) – Health director Dr. Bruce Anderson said today that “while the high number of cases is concerning, Hawai‘i is seeing a leveling or plateauing of the numbers and they do not appear to be rising or increasing at this time.” He calls this “a hopeful development” but also reminded everyone that case numbers can increase quickly.
On the Big Island, 130 of the 152 total cases have been released from isolation, indicating that 22 are active cases. Since the start of the pandemic, six people on Hawaiʻi island have required hospitalization.
This morning, the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense stated:
Hawaii Island has seen daily increases of positive cases over the past two weeks. Most of these recent cases are not travel related which means the virus is being transmitted within the community. As other islands begin measures to slow the spread of the virus by limiting activities, we ask for your help in maintaining our beautiful lifestyle on Hawaii Island by following the preventive policies. As a reminder, outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people and indoor gatherings are limited to 50 people. Within these groups, please continue practicing the policies of physical distancing, cleanliness, and wearing of face coverings.
Of the cumulative 5,215 total cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawaiʻi, 6% have required hospitalization.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health posted this statement on its website:
We continue to see cases associated with the remaining bars that are still open. It is difficult to wear a mask while drinking and as people become impaired, they naturally stop physically distancing and begin to congregate together. We have heard reports that people are still doing rigorous activities in gyms while wearing masks. This may be contributing to spread of infection as the consistency of mask wearing is unclear, specifically if they are worn all the time or correctly. The effectiveness of mask wearing while the mask is wet with sweat or vapor is unclear at this time. Some gyms have done a good job with rigorous protocols for cleaning, spacing etc., while others are problematic as we’ve seen in, for example, a circuit gym cluster. Lastly and especially, we continue to see COVID-19 clusters involving parties or gatherings in private homes (e.g., birthday party, funeral, religious gather etc.). These gatherings have no masking and no distancing, mostly involving families and friends.
The Hawaiʻi health department also made changes today to the map showing COVID-19 cases with onset dates in the past 28 days by zip code area. The color threshold has been increased. An area of yellow can now indicate between one and 25 cases, as opposed to between one and 5 cases as it did before. Therefore, the zip code areas that were light orange in Hilo and Kona are now back to yellow.
Governor David Ige will be holding a media conference today at 2:30 p.m. at the State Capitol. The governor will be joined by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell to talk about O‘ahu measures to try to slow the spread of COVID-19, and health director Dr. Bruce Anderson who will discuss recent case counts.