(BIVN) – There were 48 newly reported cases of COVID-19 in the State of Hawaiʻi on Wednesday. Of that number, five (5) new cases were identified on the Big Island.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health says there have been 59 cases of COVID-19 reported on Hawaiʻi island in the past 14 days.
Hawaiʻi County has seen an average 1.3% test positivity rate over the last 14 days, with an average of seven (7) new cases per day.
From the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense:
The Hawaii Department of Health reports five (5) new cases of Coronavirus with zero (0) persons hospitalized on Hawaii Island. There have been no deaths reported in the last ten weeks.
On testing for today, Wednesday, two District tests are scheduled. One in South Kona at the Konawaena High School from 2 to 6 this afternoon. One in Hilo at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium from 3 to 6 this afternoon.
The mandates requiring the preventive measures of wearing face coverings, maintaining 6 foot distancing and gatherings of no more than 10 persons inside and 25 persons outside continue for Hawaii Island. Please follow these measures so we can keep virus case numbers low. Currently the mandates apply to all persons that have been vaccinated for Coronavirus.
The Department of Health has opened vaccine registration to those 70 and older. If you have questions regarding vaccine availability for your age group, please contact the Department of Health at 300-1120.
The Department of Health continues to coordinate vaccination points of distribution around the Island. For a list of all the facilities providing vaccinations visit the Civil Defense website.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health reports there has been 425,749 cumulative doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in the State of Hawaiʻi, an increase of 9,715 from the previous day.
On the Big Island, 16.5% of the population has been given at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 8.4% of the population has completed the vaccination by getting the second dose.
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Available Across Hawai‘i
On Hawai’i Island Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be administered Tuesday, March 16 at Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium in Hilo. Kupuna age 70 and older can register by calling 808-300-1120.
From the Hawaiʻi Department of Health:
Initial public reaction to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Hawai‘i has been very positive, highlighting its value in the fight against COVID-19. Its proven ability to reduce severe illness and hospitalization after just one shot makes it an attractive option for people across the state.
Those who are currently eligible under the state’s vaccination plan can choose the single-shot Johnson and Johnson regimen by complete this survey.
Demand for vaccines is still greater than supply. Therefore, only people age 70 and older and those in phase 1a and 1b of the vaccination plan are currently eligible. However, vaccinations will soon be available to everyone age 65 and older and those in phase 1c.
Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available on O‘ahu Thursdays at the Windward POD run by the Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Administration. Those eligible can register by clicking on this link. They should schedule a Thursday time if they want the Johnson & Johnson product.
Johnson & Johnson is also being offered to kupuna on O‘ahu with mobility challenges. More information on this service is available by sending an email to the following address.
The State of Hawai‘i has received just one shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccines. “The current supply is limited,” DOH said. “However, we expect that additional shipments will be allocated to Hawai‘i in the coming weeks.”
Hawai‘i is also receiving a growing number of the vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna.
Independent Pharmacies Administer COVID-19 Vaccinations
From the Hawaiʻi Department of Health:
Independent pharmacies on O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island have administered first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to about 10,000 residents and caregivers in approximately 1,700 small care homes and have now begun returning to administer second doses. As of mid-February, 1,537 small care homes on O‘ahu and 152 small care homes on Hawai‘i Island, or about 90% of the total number of such facilities on those islands, received vaccination visits.
Five major categories of homes were visited: Adult Residential Care Homes (ARCHs), most of which house five or less residents; Community Care Foster Family Homes; Developmental Disabilities Domiciliary Homes, Intermediate Care Facilities and Adult Foster Homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Hawai‘i Department of Health Office of Health Care Assurance and the Developmental Disabilities Division provided a list of small care homes to the pharmacies. The Hawai‘i Geographic Information Coordination Council assisted by using GPS technology to map out the locations of the nearly 1,800 O‘ahu facilities. The pharmacies, which are members of the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network, then divided the island and fanned out to administer the doses.
The six participating pharmacy providers on O‘ahu included: Times Pharmacy, Pharmacare, 5 Minute Pharmacy, Foodland Pharmacy, QMC POB Pharmacy and ElixRx. On Hawai‘i Island, CPESN-affiliated KTA Superstores Pharmacy participated in the effort.
“We appreciate the partnership between these independent pharmacies in going into these neighborhood care homes and administering the vaccine,” said Edward Mersereau, deputy director of Behavioral Health at the Department of Health. “Their work will greatly contribute to keeping vulnerable members of our communities safe.”
“This was a big ask,” said Dr. Curtis Toma, State of Hawai‘i Med-QUEST Division medical director, who helped organize the effort. “The State has been counting on the support of independent pharmacies, and they have come through for us.”
“We used 15 staff people from our four pharmacies to go into 153 homes from Ka‘u to Kohala,” Kerri Okamura, director of pharmacy operations at KTA Super Stores said. “We want to take care of the communities that we’re in and we definitely want to be part of providing the vaccine to those who qualify.”
“We’re just happy to be part of the solution with DOH on the vaccination process,” Patrick Uyemoto, Times Pharmacy clinical services manager said.
On Kaua‘i, DOH nurses visited at least 60 of the care homes and administered doses to more than 100 residents. Caregivers from those homes went to the island’s DOH POD vaccination site.
DOH also organized strike teams and other partnerships to conduct focused visits to provide vaccines for residents of homes on Maui.
Toma and representatives from the independent pharmacy groups have been meeting weekly to discuss their progress and are discussing other ways the state’s independent pharmacies can assist as the vaccination process advances.