(BIVN) – There were 98 newly reported cases of COVID-19 in the State of Hawaiʻi on Thursday. Of that, fourteen (14) new cases were identified on the Big Island. Hawai’i County Civil Defense reported five (5) persons hospitalized.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health says there have been 131 cases of COVID-19 reported on Hawaiʻi island in the past 14 days. Hawaiʻi County has seen an average 1.4% test positivity rate over the last 14 days, with an average of nine (9) new cases per day.
On the health department’s zip code area map showing reported COVID-19 cases with onset dates in the past 14 days, there are two (2) areas on Hawaiʻi island showing totals of over 10 cases:
- 96720 (Hilo) – 33 cases
- 96740 (Kona) – 57 cases
The County of Hawaiʻi says the next scheduled COVID-19 testing day is on Saturday when three district tests are scheduled. One in Hilo at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, one in North Kona at the West Hawaiʻi Civic Center, and one in Puna at Keaʻau High School.
To date, the State of Hawaiʻi says 1,007,966 cumulative doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered; an increase of 16,342 from April 14.
“Hawaii has reached a huge milestone!” tweeted Governor David Ige on Thursday. “One million doses of the COVID vaccine administered here in the state. Eligibility to get the vaccine on Oahu remains at 50+, but DOH is tracking to open that up to those 16+ by next week. All other islands have opened eligibility to 16+,” he wrote. The governor added that about 33% of the state population has had at least one dose of the vaccine.
From the Hawaiʻi Department of Public Safety:
COVID-19 testing is continuously being conducted statewide at all facilities. Currently the inmate population at all facilities is clear of active COVID-19 cases. The Hawai‘i Community Correctional Center (HCCC) reports 91 negative inmate test results received so far. No HCCC inmates have reported symptoms but as a precaution the facility enacted their pandemic protocol to quarantine the facility and suspend all inmate movement after an HCCC employee reported testing positive Monday.
Trans-Pacific Post-arrival Testing Changes
From the office of Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth on Thursday:
“Between the dates of December 15, 2020, and March 31, 2021, the County of Hawaiʻi relinquished all fiscal responsibility related to post-arrival airport testing to our private philanthropist partners who created a new contract with Premier Medical Group (PMG). We did, however, oversee the daily operations of the Hilo and Kona airports during the same period. When an agreement could no longer be reached between PMG and our partners, we took back fiscal responsibility on April 1. In our resumption of fiscal responsibility for airport testing, we chose to seek lower testing rates, as public monies would incur the cost. PMG had notified us of a steep increase in rates, which led us to part ways.
Moving forward, our administration intends to ween off of the post-arrival testing program by first reducing testing to only those trans-pacific travelers that are unable to prove that they have been vaccinated. We will be the first in the State to do so and look forward to piloting that program. The State’s Safe Travels program will remain in effect for ALL trans-Pacific travelers. Our island has remained one of the safest places to live in our Nation, and we are proud of the work that has gone into keeping it that way. With the introductions of vaccines as an added layer of protection, we feel it is time to begin the return to normalcy, including reducing added pressures on our airlines, airports, kamaʻāina, and visitors. As always, we will continue to monitor our numbers and adjust as necessary to ensure our community’s health and safety. Until then, we will continue to seek innovative solutions to get our community back on track and return to a happy, healthy, and thriving Hawaiʻi County.”