(BIVN) – There were 45 newly reported cases of COVID-19 in the State of Hawaiʻi on Thursday. Three (3) new cases were identified on Hawaiʻi island, with four (4) persons hospitalized.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health says there have been 136 cases of COVID-19 reported on Hawaiʻi island in the past 14 days. Hawaiʻi County has seen an average 3.3% test positivity rate over the last 14 days, with an average of fifteen (15) 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 the Big Island with a total of over 10 cases.
- 96740 (Kona) – 17 cases
- 96720 (Hilo) – 35 cases
The Hawaiʻi Department of Public Safety provided this update on the COVID outbreak at the Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center in Hilo:
The Hawaii Community Correctional Center (HCCC) reports 84 inmate test results were received as part of the mass testing effort underway at the facility. Of that number, 22 were positive and 62 were negative. That brings the total positive inmate cases at the facility to 99. Of the 47 staff test results received, 2 were positive and 45 were negative, bringing the total staff positives to 13. HCCC enacted their pandemic protocol last week, which included a facility-wide quarantine of all inmate housing and suspending inmate movement within the facility and transports going out of the facility. The facility is in constant contact with the courts to notify them of the status. Ongoing testing is being implemented by HCCC health care staff, with the assistance of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Hawaii National Guard. Hawaii Correctional Industries sanitized and deep-cleaned all common areas in the facility.
The Department of Public Safety (PSD) continues to encourage all staff and inmates to voluntarily get tested and receive the COVID vaccination.
“Vaccinations are a critical part of the Department of Public Safety’s efforts to mitigate spread of the virus among employees as well as the inmate population,” said Max Otani, PSD Director. “The constant intake and release of pre-trial detainees in the jails make it difficult for PSD to fully vaccinate this population, but facility health care staff and DOH are working hard to educate inmates on the safety of the vaccine.”
Director Otani continued, “PSD health care staff and DOH teams regularly put out information to staff and inmates on vaccination opportunities and make themselves available in the facilities to answer questions.”
“We encourage all staff and those in our custody and care to voluntarily test and receive the vaccines made available, free of charge. If not for themselves, for their loved ones. By getting vaccinated, we are all doing our part to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our communities and correctional facilities,” said Tommy Johnson, Deputy Director for Corrections.
To date, the State of Hawaiʻi says 1,546,754 cumulative doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered; an increase of 4,314 from June 2nd.
On Thursday, Hawaiʻi health officials began publishing vaccination progress maps, in order to easily identify “areas where improved vaccination access is critical” to avoid “vaccine deserts.”
From the Department of Health:
The Hawai‘i Department of Health is unveiling its newest tool to help encourage more Hawai‘i residents to get vaccinated: COVID-19 vaccination progress maps.
Based on vaccination data collected to date, the Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Disease Outbreak Control Division has developed a new set of heat maps that show vaccination rates by ZIP code for each island. The maps will be used to identify potential vaccine deserts – areas where access to vaccine may be limited. The goal is to increase access through innovative community-based strategies.
“The vaccine is our best tool to move forward together as a state. These maps will allow us to work with partners to strategically schedule new vaccination clinics around the state,” said Dr. Sarah Kemble, state epidemiologist with the health department. “With this geographic information, we can deploy resources where they are needed most and bring the vaccine to where people live, work, and play.”
According to vaccination data on June 3, over half (52%) of Hawaii’s total population has been fully vaccinated and 59% have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. While the state has made tremendous progress in the past six months and restrictions are beginning to loosen, there are still hundreds of thousands of unvaccinated people and vaccination rates are higher in some areas than others.
“We want this data to promote health equity by identifying areas where people might be experiencing increased barriers to vaccination,” said Joshua Quint, MPH, PhD, an epidemiologist with the Disease Outbreak Control Division, who spearheaded the mapping project. “We encourage people to monitor these maps and use them to encourage their neighbors to get vaccinated. Areas with lower vaccination rates represent opportunities to try new strategies that make it more convenient for people to get vaccinated. We are in a critical period where there is still ongoing community transmission. If more and more people continue to get vaccinated, we will prevent future outbreaks from causing unnecessary illness, hospitalizations, and deaths. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and represent the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones and speed up our recovery process.”
The Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense says the next community testing will be on Friday in South Kohala at the Waimea District Park from 9 a.m. to noon.