(BIVN) – There were 3,878 newly reported cases of COVID-19 in the State of Hawaiʻi on Sunday, down from the record 5,977 cases reported on Saturday. Of that number, 585 new cases were identified on Hawaiʻi island, down from the record 720 cases reported the day before. Three (3) deaths with COVID-19 were reported statewide.
As of a Saturday, 42 persons were hospitalized on the Big Island, according to an update from the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health cast doubt on the accuracy of its own reported numbers on Saturday, when it issued a news release saying its “systems have not been able to process the large volume of positive and negative cases in recent days,” and that a result, “thousands of cases, both positive and negative, have not been reported.”
The DOH says it will suspend the processing of negative cases, which will will allow for accurate positive case counts. However, that means the positivity rates will no longer be reported. The full news release is posted below.
Health officials are currently monitoring 3,657 active cases on Hawaiʻi island. UPDATE: Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense says that number is 4,449 active cases.
On the Health Department’s zip code area map showing reported COVID-19 cases with onset dates in the past 14 days, there are twenty-two (22) zip code areas on the Big Island showing over 10 cases, with thirteen (13) of those areas showing over 50 cases. Hilo has recorded over 1,000 cases. Zip code areas not listed below have recorded less than 10 cases in 14 days. These numbers may be impacted by the recent issues reported by the hralth department.
- 96720 (Hilo) – 1,086 cases
- 96781 (Papaikou) – 27 cases
- 96783 (Pepeʻekeo) – 47 cases
- 96773* (North Hilo) – 44 cases
- 96776 (Paʻauilo) – 26 cases
- 96727 (Honokaʻa) – 91 cases
- 96755 (Kapaʻau) – 54 cases
- 96719 (Hawi) – 20 cases
- 96743 (Kohala/Waimea) – 219 cases
- 96738 (Waikoloa) – 114 cases
- 96740 (Kona) – 704 cases
- 96725 (Holualoa) – 51 cases
- 96750 (Kealakekua) – 66 cases
- 96704* (South Kona) – 72 cases
- 96737 (Ocean View) – 13 cases
- 96772 (Naʻalehu) – 23 cases
- 96777 (Pahala) – 20 cases
- 96785 (Volcano) – 19 cases
- 96749 (Puna/Keaʻau) – 378 cases
- 96760 (Kurtistown) – 53 cases
- 96771 (Puna mauka) – 110 cases
- 96778 (Puna makai) – 275 cases
* The 96773 zip code area includes zip code areas 96710, 96774, 96728, 96764, and 96780. The 96704 zip code area includes zip code areas 96726.
DOH Message On Case Counts
From the Hawaiʻi Department of Health:
The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) will temporarily stop reporting specific data sets on Sunday, January 16 so its data collection and reporting system can continue to accurately process the thousands of positive tests recorded at laboratories daily.
DOH systems have not been able to process the large volume of positive and negative cases in recent days. As a result, thousands of cases, both positive and negative, have not been reported.
In order to expedite the processing and reporting of positive cases, DOH will suspend the processing of negative cases. This will allow for accurate positive case counts.
All tests, both positive and negative, must be processed in order to ascertain positivity rates and produce certain data sets. Therefore, positivity rates and some data sets will not be available while DOH assesses alternative ways to accurately report on both positive case counts and percent positivity regardless of testing volume.
Record COVID-19 case counts in recent weeks are also necessitating a change in case investigation. Contact tracers simply cannot keep pace with the large number of COVID-19 cases.
Contact tracers are focusing their attention on priority groups including COVID-19 clusters associated with schools and high-risk settings such as long-term care facilities.
“We have reported roughly 48,000 COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks. It would be unrealistic to think our 378 contact tracers could get in touch with all those people. So, we are focusing on providing general and setting-specific guidance, and on cluster investigations that will help protect vulnerable populations,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble.
“The number of cases Hawai‘i is experiencing is unprecedented, leading to a tremendous demand for testing. As testing data flows through the electronic reporting system, the system is stressed. Our essential DOH employees are also wrestling with tremendous challenges. We must adapt to address these circumstances,” said Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char, FACEP.
“Everyone can be part of the solution. Wear well-fitting masks. Don’t take them off near anyone from outside your household. Avoid large crowds. And if you have COVID symptoms or think you have been exposed, isolate yourself immediately. Isolating yourself to slow transmission is absolutely necessary,” Char added.