(BIVN) – There were 37 newly reported cases of COVID-19 in the State of Hawaiʻi on Tuesday. Eight (8) new cases were identified on Hawaiʻi island, with four (4) persons hospitalized.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health says there have been 180 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 locations showing with over 10 cases.
- 96720 (Hilo) – 72 cases
- 96749 (Puna) – 16 cases
The vast majority of new COVID-19 cases are associated with inmates at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo, officials say. A free, short-term community testing program will be set up by the County of Hawaiʻi, starting on Wednesday (June 16), to address the reported cluster.
The Wednesday testing site will be at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, with subsequent testing sites to be determined, officials say. The public will be notified of any changes to testing locations. Currently, a total of 199 inmates and 19 staff have tested positive for the virus.
Testing is set to be administered on the following days:
- Wednesday, June 16 and 23
- Saturday, June 19 and 26
According to the County, the decision to conduct the testing was made based on the following:
- Number of positives amongst HCCC staff and the continued possibility of community spread
- The overall increase in visitor arrivals
- The lifting of inter-island flight restrictions on June 15
- The increasing number of social gatherings due to graduation and other summer activities.
“At this time, we feel that setting up a testing program is the best way for us to gather data to ensure that our communities remain protected,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “We are slowly beginning our return to normalcy, and ensuring that we don’t trip at the finish line is our number one priority. We would also like to remind residents that with the new variants becoming prevalent in the community that it is truly our kuleana to get vaccinated to keep our community healthy, happy, and safe as we begin our recovery towards a thriving Hawaiʻi Island.”
The County says testing and vaccinations will also be made available to HCCC staff and families upon request.
To date, the State of Hawaiʻi says 1,615,402 cumulative doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered; an increase of 4,575 from June 14th. Health officials say 55% percent of the State population (all ages) has completed the full vaccination.