(BIVN) – There were 1,273 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the State of Hawaiʻi this week, down from skewed count of 12,755 new cases reported last week. Last week, the number was inflated due to the addition of historic COVID-19 reinfection data in the results.
109 new cases were identified on Hawaiʻi island this week.
On the Health Department’s zip code area map showing reported COVID-19 cases with onset dates in the past 14 days, there are five (5) zip code areas on the Big Island showing over 11 cases. Zip code areas not listed below have recorded 10 cases or less in 14 days.
- 96720 (Hilo) – 68 cases
- 96749 (Keaʻau) – 20 cases
- 96778 (Puna makai) – 11 cases
- 96740 (Kona) – 30 cases
- 96743 (Kohala/Waimea) – 16 cases
The average test positivity rate on Hawaiʻi island this week was 4.8%, up from the 3.9% reported the week before.
DOH: Wastewater Data Consistent With COVID-19 Metrics
From the Hawaiʻi Department of Health
The Department of Health (DOH) published a COVID-19 Wastewater Report on Thursday, September 29. The report shows COVID-19 cases have declined since early June and the Omicron subvariant BA.5 is the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i.
“Data from wastewater testing aligns with other data sets,” said State Laboratories Division (SLD) Administrator Edward Desmond, Ph.D, D (ABMM).
“Results from COVID-19 tests taken by individuals show case counts have dropped since June. This is consistent with data in the Wastewater Report which shows concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 have declined since June. Genome sequencing shows BA.5 is the most common subvariant in Hawai‘i. The Wastewater Report also supports that finding,” Desmond said.
Wastewater surveillance is another tool used to monitor COVID-19 levels in our community. It can alert us to a shift in trends or the presence of new variants.
The Wastewater Report provides a summary of surveillance done as part of the National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS). DOH coordinates collection of samples from 15 wastewater treatment plants across the state. The samples are analyzed by Biobot Analytics as part of the NWSS at no cost to Hawai‘i. Biobot Analytics now provides test results about a week after samples are collected.
“The State Laboratories Division continues to develop its own COVID-19 wastewater surveillance capabilities. Our staff is performing longitudinal validation of our own protocols by comparing results of our wastewater analysis with results of Biobot’s analysis. The fast, cost-free analysis provided by Biobot gives us desired information and affords our staff time to work toward wastewater testing for other pathogens,” Desmond said.
SLD will publish a Wastewater Report every two weeks. It will be posted on the DOH COVID-19 Data Reports page where the Variant Report is currently posted.