Updated: September 28, 2022
By Wendy Osher
The state recorded another triple digit day of new COVID-19 cases today, with all 173 on the island of Oʻahu. This brings the total cases in Hawaiʻi over the course of the pandemic to 2,763.
To date, 1,402 cases have recovered, 214 individuals have required hospitalization and there are currently 1,334 active cases in the state, 95% of them on the island of Oʻahu.
Six of the past eight days have been in the triple-digits. Last week’s high numbers were partially attributed to a backlog from closed labs during Hurricane Douglas. This week’s high numbers have been partially attributed to delayed reporting over the weekend, a result of private clinical laboratory reporting issues. Health officials yesterday said the high numbers demonstrate that people should not be letting down their guard in terms of prevention measures.
According to the state Department of Health, one case from Maui was removed from today’s counts as a result of updated information.
Cases by island include:
- Hawaiʻi County: 122 (7 active; 115 released from isolation; 4 required hospitalization)
- Honolulu County: 2,394 (1270 active; 1104 released from isolation; 181 required hospitalization; 20 deaths)
- Kauaʻi County: 47 (3 active; 44 released from isolation; 1 required hospitalization;
- Maui County: 177 (32 active; 139 released from isolation; 26 required hospitalization; 6 deaths)
- Pending: 0
- Residents diagnosed outside of Hawaiʻi: 23 (2 required hospitalization, 1 death of an elderly Kaua‘i resident who died out of state, in Arizona)
There have been 27 COVID-19 related deaths in Hawaiʻi, including 20 on Oʻahu, six in Maui County, and one Kauaʻi resident who was hospitalized in Arizona. Hawaiʻi has a mortality rate of 1.8 deaths per 100,000, according to Lt. Gov. Green. Prior COVID-19 related deaths are posted here.
Hawaii’s recent accumulation of COVID-19 cases has meant more hospitalizations, a situation that Lieutenant Governor Josh Green is calling “disconcerting.” He spoke during a tele-town hall with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard last night.
“So in the last 36 hours, we’ve gone from 75 cases plus or minus in the hospital to 138. And the reality of COVID has been (at least for us in Hawaiʻi) 11% of our individuals that have tested positive have ended up in the hospital… It’s a problem. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, and that’s why we’re going to have to get much more serious,” he said during the conversation.
Lt. Gov. Green said more needs to be done to get a handle on the virus and prevent an ongoing upward trajectory in cases.
“We have a very small cohort of full time people, and this is the kind of time where we need to call in the troops. We need an army of contact tracers to help isolate the disease and help us with the public health need that we have,” he said.
According to the Lt. Governor, the state has 244 intensive care unit beds, 100 of which are usually filled because of heart attacks, strokes and other health emergencies. He said if high numbers of new cases and hospitalizations continue, it will necessitate further action.
“If it continues I do think we will hear the words that we don’t want to hear which is lockdown. If we don’t contain the number of cases soon, we’ll have no choice but to get more serious about lockdown measures because that’s the only thing that has worked so far to keep the cases low,” said Lt. Gov. Green.
Previous case counts include the following:
• 8.5.20: 173 New COVID-19 Cases Today, All on O‘ahu
• 8.4.20: 144 New COVID-19 Cases Today in Hawai‘i; 27th Death
• 8.3.20: 207 New COVID-19 Cases in Hawai‘i, Highest One-Day Record Due to Delayed Lab Reporting
• 8.2.20: 45 New COVID-19 Cases in Hawai‘i; Temporary Reporting Delays Affect Total
• 8.1.20: 87 New COVID-19 Cases in Hawai‘i; Testing Lag of 5-7 Days
• 7.31.20: 123 New COVID-19 Cases: Third Consecutive Day of Triple-Digit Increases in Hawai‘i
• 7.30.20: 124 New COVID-19 Cases: New One-Day Record, Triple-Digit Record for Hawai‘i
• 7.29.20: 109 New COVID-19 Cases in Hawai‘i (98 on O‘ahu, 9 on Maui, 2 Kaua‘i), New One-Day High
• 7.28.20: 47 New COVID-19 Cases in Hawai‘i: 46 on O‘ahu, 1 on Maui
• 7.27.20: 28 New COVID-19 Cases on O‘ahu; Investigators Search for Bar Patrons for Contact Tracing
• 7.26.20: 64 New Covid-19 Cases in Hawai‘i on Sunday: 55 on O‘ahu, 7 on Maui, 2 on Kaua‘i
• 7.25.20: 73 New COVID-19 Cases: 3rd Consecutive Day of Record High Numbers on July 25
• 7.24.20: 60 New COVID-19 Cases in Hawaiʻi: 2nd Day of Record High Numbers on July 24
• 7.23.20: 55 New COVID-19 Cases in Hawaiʻi: Record High Numbers on Thursday, July 23
Hawai‘i’s Triple Digit Case Count Has Officials Considering Reinstatement of Measures
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is enacting several new rules amid record triple-digit single day increases in new COVID-19 cases. The governor said he would be working with the mayors to reinstate some of the measures that were relaxed in recent weeks.
Mayor Victorino’s recommendations on Maui include updated Public Health Emergency Rules that limit indoor and outdoor social gatherings to no more than 10 people. The use of large structures that may attract gatherings, such as tents and pavilions, are also prohibited at beaches and parks. The rules went into effect on July 31, 2020.
On Monday, July 13, Gov. David Ige announced he is delaying the launch of the state’s pre-travel testing program by a month to Sept. 1, 2020. He also announced the extension of Hawai‘i’s 14-day quarantine on trans-Pacific travel to the end of August. The governor said he still believes in the program and reports that the state has made progress, but said spikes on the mainland and here at home have stalled the program that many equate to the reopening of tourism in Hawaiʻi.
He agreed that the developments will make economic recovery more challenging for Hawaiʻi.
A separate quarantine in place for interisland travel was lifted on Tuesday, June 16.; however, on Friday July 24, amid record increases in cases statewide, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino asked Governor David Ige to reinstate the 14-Day interisland quarantine. As of the time of this posting, no decision had been made on the request. Upon lifting the interisland quarantine, the state implemented thermal screening, a new interisland travel form and a more robust contact tracing program.
This applies only to air travel within the state, and anyone arriving into the state is still subject to a 14-day quarantine as outlined above.
The state has since selected NEC Corporation, NEC Corporation of America and their partner, Infrared Cameras Inc., to provide thermal temperature screening and facial imaging technology at Hawaiʻi’s public airports.
The thermal temperature screening equipment was installed immediately at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, Kahului Airport, Līhuʻe Airport, Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole and Hilo International Airport.
- Phase 1 will have the temperature scanners installed this month at the gates currently being used for arriving trans-Pacific flights.
- Phase 2 will have the temperature scanners installed at the remaining gates in the coming weeks.
- Phase 3 expects to have the facial imaging equipment installed by Dec. 31, 2020.
Hawaiʻi School Board Votes to Approve Delayed Start of School by Two Weeks
The Hawaiʻi Board of Education on Thursday night (July 30, 2020) voted to postpone the start of the school year by two weeks to Aug. 17th. The delay provides assurances that health and safety preparedness concerns relating to COVID-19 are addressed and that there’s enough time for employee training in protocols and virtual learning tools. The board postponed action on a separate motion that sought to waive the statutory law that requires 180 days of instruction, and will revisit the matter at a later date.