(BIVN) – There were 142 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the State of Hawaiʻi on Thursday. Of that number, sixteen (16) new cases were identified on Hawaiʻi island.
Two new deaths were also reported statewide.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health says there have been 153 cases of COVID-19 reported on the Big Island in the past 14 days.
On the health department’s zip code area map showing reported COVID-19 cases with onset dates in the past 14 days, only two areas – in Hilo and Kona – indicate totals of over 10 cases. The numbers in those two areas have been slowly increasing in recent days:
- 96720 (Hilo) – 44 cases
- 96740 (Kona) – 43 cases
UPDATE – (3:25 p.m.) – From the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense:
The Hawaii Department of Health reports sixteen (16) new cases of Coronavirus on Hawaii Island with three (3) persons hospitalized. A total of fifty (50) deaths have been reported for Hawaii Island. The Department of Health reports a Hawaii Island resident has died on Oahu, our condolences to their family and friends.
You should understand the seriousness of what is happening in areas outside of Hawaii. The Coronavirus cases count and fatalities continue to dramatically increase across our Nation and are projected to continue at the current rate or worse through early next year. The news of the vaccine is very good and the first shipment will be on Island next week and will be available for health care providers but please be aware that availability to the general public is still months away.
The Island and State of Hawaii remain as one of the safest places to be in the United States. We need to continue to stay healthy with exercise, fresh air, sunlight, cleanliness and social connectedness within the preventive policies of face coverings, distancing, and gatherings. Please accept this kuleana to keep Hawaii safe so we can go through the next two or three months as safely as possible.
Thank you for listening and have a safe day.
Today, a FDA panel recommended granting Emergency Use Authorization to the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. From the Hawaiʻi Department of Health:
Hawai‘i State Director of Health Dr. Elizabeth Char released the following statement following an important committee recommendation that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration grant Emergency Use Authorization for the Moderna mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine:
“Today’s vote will likely lead to the FDA authorizing a second vaccine to help safeguard our community,” said Dr. Char. “It was vitally important for this committee of scientists and clinicians to complete an in-depth review of this vaccine. That review involved a clinical trial of more than 30,000 people. It gives us confidence about the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. Due to its storage requirements, this vaccine is easier to ship and store than the vaccine already in use.”
The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Committee (VRBAC) voted 20 to 0 in favor of recommending authorization of the Moderna vaccine, with one abstention.
The FDA will review the committee’s recommendation and decide whether to grant Emergency Use Authorization. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will then provide guidance on who can be vaccinated. ACIP guidance is expected in the coming days.
If the Moderna vaccine is granted authorization, both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines will be distributed to all four counties.
Essential health care workers will be vaccinated at Points of Dispensing (PODs) across the state. Vaccinations will be administered at long-term care facilities through a federal partnership with Walgreens and CVS.
Today’s news follows the arrival of additional doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which were distributed to healthcare facilities across O‘ahu to be shared with their network of facilities including those on the neighbor islands. Together, more than 81,000 doses of both vaccines are expected to arrive in Hawai‘i this month alone.