(BIVN) – There were 66 newly reported cases of COVID-19 in the State of Hawaiʻi on Friday. Of that number, fifteen (15) new cases were identified on the Big Island.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health says there have been 80 cases of COVID-19 reported on Hawaiʻi island in the past 14 days.
Hawaiʻi County has seen an average 1.6% test positivity rate over the last 14 days, with an average of nine (9) new cases per day.
From the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense:
The Hawaii Department of Health reports fifteen (15) new cases of Coronavirus with two (2) persons hospitalized on Hawaii Island. There have been no deaths reported in the last ten weeks.
Coronavirus cases have been increasing in our community. 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 are in place to reduce the virus spread. Please follow these measures so we can keep virus case numbers on Hawaii Island low. Currently the mandates apply to all persons that have been vaccinated for Coronavirus.
The Department of Health has opened vaccine registration to those 65 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 447,917 cumulative doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in the State of Hawaiʻi, an increase of 11,882 from the previous day.
Three “Breakthrough” Cases Identified
The State of Hawaiʻi has identified a total of three “breakthrough” cases in which a fully vaccinated person (someone who received both doses) has contracted COVID-19.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health made the announcement on Friday, and said “this number is not outside what we would expect with nearly 165,000 people in Hawai‘i who are fully vaccinated.” DOH says:
A vaccine with 95% efficacy will protect 95 out of 100 people. This means 5% may still contract COVID if exposed. This another reason we must all do our part to keep case counts low. The lower the prevalence of COVID in the community, the lower the chance any of us – even those who have been vaccinated – will be infected.
It is important to note that none of the individuals with “breakthrough” COVID became severely ill and none are known to have transmitted COVID to someone else.
The vaccines are preventing serious illness as they are designed to do.
“The really important thing is that being vaccinated prevents us from serious illness, hospitalization, and death. That’s what we really need the vaccines to do for us,” said DOH Director Dr. Elizabeth Char. “We have seen cases where people are fully vaccinated, and we have some cases in Hawai‘i now where people got vaccinated…traveled to the mainland, and we think they got ill on the mainland. Thankfully, their symptoms were very mild, which is exactly the protection the vaccine affords, but you can get infected with COVID.”
Those With Chronic Medical Conditions Eligible For Vaccine
On March 15, those who are age 65 and older, and those with one or more of a few specific chronic medical conditions, will be eligible to be vaccinated next.
Those who can make appointments immediately include:
- Individuals age 65 and older
- Individuals on dialysis
- Individuals with severe respiratory disease who are on oxygen
- Individuals undergoing chemotherapy or other – infusion therapy
“People with other chronic conditions also qualify for vaccine in Phase 1c, but not immediately,” the DOH reported. “Data shows a correlation between medical conditions and age, so age will serve as a surrogate for many of these other chronic medical conditions. People with these chronic illnesses will be eligible for vaccine by age in descending order.”
The State of Hawaiʻi says essential workers who were not included in earlier phases are also part of Phase 1c. They will continue to register through employers, DOH says.
“We will get to everybody. We are very happy that people want to get vaccinated. We look forward to vaccinating everyone who is interested,” Char said.