(BIVN) – The Hawaiʻi Department of Health announced 277 newly reported cases of COVID-19 statewide as of noon on Wednesday, and added two more deaths to the coronavirus toll.
While most of the new cases continue to be identified on Oʻahu, there was also an increase in new cases on Hawaiʻi island. There were twenty-three (23) new cases on the Big Island, and eight (8) new cases on Maui. Oʻahu reported 245 new cases today.
With 150 of Hawaiʻi island’s cumulative 243 cases on released from isolation, the State of Hawaiʻi indicated that there are now 93 active cases of COVID-19 on the Big Island. Civil defense reported 71 active cases this morning.
“While there are indications that infections in Honolulu are beginning to stabilize and even decrease slightly, health officials are expressing concerns about growing activity on Maui and Hawai‘i island,” a State of Hawaiʻi news release stated today. The Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Joint Information Center reported:
Commenting on the increasing activity on the two Neighbor Islands, State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said, “Along with our county partners, we are closely monitoring these trends. We have concerns that ongoing gatherings, especially with inconsistent mask use or distancing, are contributing.” On Hawai‘i island two recent large gatherings are of particular concern: a beach gathering and a large funeral. Social media videos from the funeral showed people not physically distancing or wearing masks. More than 500 tests have been reportedly administered to people who attended the funeral with additional testing planned.
The Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Joint Information Center also shared this statement on the two new deaths reported on Wednesday:
Hawai‘i’s coronavirus death toll reached 51 today, with the Dept. of Health reporting two additional deaths. Both are O‘ahu men who were in the hospital and had underlying health conditions. One of the men was in the 50 to 59-year-old age group, and the other was in the 60 to 69-year-old group.
Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson extended statewide condolences to the family and friends of the latest people to pass from COVID-19. “The tragic loss of our loved ones and our neighbors is devastating and sadly, more deaths are expected as our case numbers continue to be high. We can work together to reduce hospitalizations and deaths by consistently practicing the 3W’s (wash your hands, watch your distance, wear your mask), and abiding by all State and County restrictions currently in place. We all can do our part to get the infection rate across Hawai‘i back under control,” he said.
There have been 7,260 cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawaii. Of those cases, 6% have required hospitalization and 6,738 (93%) were residents, the health department says. The number of people tested in Hawaiʻi is 185,675.
“We have seen several recent case clusters surrounding social activities such as break room gatherings, work pot-lucks, and other social gatherings,” health officials said on Tuesday. “We suspect and in some cases have confirmed these cases are related to inconsistent mask wearing and lack of physical distancing.”
The health department also reports a critical shortage of plasma. If you have recovered from COVID-19 and want to help by donating plasma, the State encourages you to register to donate today.