(BIVN) – There were 122 newly reported cases of COVID-19 in the State of Hawaiʻi on Thursday. Four (4) new cases were identified on the Big Island. Hawai’i County Civil Defense reported two (2) persons hospitalized.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health says there have been 69 cases of COVID-19 reported on Hawaiʻi island in the past 14 days. Hawaiʻi County has seen an average 0.7% test positivity rate over the last 14 days, with an average of four (4) 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) – 26 cases
- 96740 (Kona) – 21 cases
To date, the State of Hawaiʻi says 1,191,481 cumulative doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered; an increase of 9,509 from April 28.
The next scheduled COVID-19 district test is on Friday, April 30, when a test is scheduled in Puna at the Pahoa District Park from 9 a.m. to noon.
County Test Schedule Changes
The Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense says its sponsored test schedule will change in May. Going forward, there will be one test in Hilo at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium on Wednesdays and one test in North Kona at the West Hawaii Civic Center on Saturdays.
Effort Underway To Reach Vulnerable Residents
From the Hawaiʻi Department of Health:
Several government agencies along with private-sector and non-profit partners have launched a full-scale outreach effort to ensure every individual who wants a COVID-19 vaccination is able to get one.
All Hawaii residents 16 years and older are eligible for vaccinations and the Department of Health is strongly encouraging everyone to take advantage of this.
“We’re working hard to understand people’s reservations and barriers to accessing the vaccine and to provide information and education about the vaccines and the disease in order to allow people to make informed decisions and access vaccine if they choose to,” said Dr. Elizabeth Char, director of the Hawai‘i Department of Health. “This requires personalized, door-to-door outreach and the collaboration in the community has been phenomenal. This will be key to reaching more individuals who want the vaccine but have not yet been able to be vaccinated. Nothing can replace this kind of relationship-oriented outreach.”
The collaborative effort has focused on vulnerable populations, especially for those in underserved communities who speak English as their second language and may not know how to navigate the healthcare system or vaccination registration process. To ensure easy access and convenience, teams are bringing the vaccinations into their communities.
The Hawaii Public Housing Authority (HPHA), which oversees a portfolio of 85 properties with a total of 6,270 low-income public housing units across the State, provides the perfect venue for this outreach effort. Last year, from May to October 2020, teams from the Department of Health, doctors, nurses, Hawaii National Guard members and interpreters canvassed more than 2,400 units at 23 public housing properties on O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island to provide educational flyers in English and other translated languages to educate the community about the COVID-19 virus, and tested those who exhibited COVID-19 symptoms.
“The pandemic is undoubtedly one of the most life-changing events that we have seen in modern times. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we started with door-to-door outreach, education and testing, and now we are continuing our collaborative effort to provide safe and convenient COVID-19 vaccination clinics onsite for our public housing communities, our surrounding neighbors and the general public,” said Hakim Ouansafi, Hawaii Public Housing Authority Executive Director. “We are truly thankful to collaborate with all of our community partners to bring COVID-19 vaccination clinics directly to the most vulnerable populations that we serve.”
Joint Information Center Ending Daily News Digest
The State of Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Joint Information Center says it will be producing its final Daily News Digest (DND) on Friday, April 30. The DND is a daily summary of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, provided to media and members of the public.
“For the past 14 months it has been a privilege to provide information on the COVID-19 pandemic in Hawai’i to state leaders and employees, to the news media, and to citizens,” wrote Lead Public Information Officers Cindy McMillan and Dan Dennison. “The JIC has been staffed by volunteer communications professionals from a variety of state departments, and we owe a debt of gratitude to all these folks as they handled crisis information needs, as well as their regular jobs within their respective agencies. We appreciate the notes of thanks we’ve received and trust the information provided has helped Hawaiʻi to soon move beyond this pandemic. We wish you, our faithful readers, health and happiness and leave you with this constant reminder (for a while longer at least) to mask-up, physically distance, stay at home when you’re sick, and wash your hands. Mahalo for your support. “