BREAKING: 60 New COVID-19 Cases in Hawaii: Second Day of Record High Numbers

July 24, 2020, 9:52 AM HST · Updated July 24, 10:43 PM
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After a record number of new coronavirus cases on Thursday, today the Hawai‘i Department of Health is reporting a second consecutive single-day record.  Today’s new case count is 60 COVID-19 infections: the majority of cases, like yesterday, are on the island of O‘ahu (58), with one case on Maui, and the other case is a Hawai‘i resident diagnosed out of state.

State Health Director Bruce Anderson said, “We’re concerned that this relatively high level of cases is persisting on Oahu. Some of the cases we’re reporting today are associated with existing clusters, known cases and household spread, but others are new, unassociated cases that indicate increasing community spread. In contact tracing, we continue to identify cases connected with gatherings or just hanging out with close friends. Until we all recognize the importance of physically distancing from people outside of their households and wearing masks, we face the prospect of even higher numbers.”

“DOH is bringing on additional contact tracers to assist with case investigations and contact tracing,” said Dr. Sarah Park, State Epidemiologist. “As we have over 400 contact tracers now trained to augment existing staff resources, we have sufficient reserves for that purpose. Nevertheless, contact tracing and testing alone will not control the spread of COVID-19. Everyone needs to adhere to the safe distancing recommendations and wear masks when near others. That is the only way we as a community are going to prevent the spread of this very infectious disease,” said Park.

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Today there were a total of 60 new COVID-19 cases in Hawaiʻi for a total of 1,549 reported over the course of the pandemic. The new cases include 58 on Oʻahu, one on Maui and one in a Hawaiʻi resident who was diagnosed while out of state.  Also, as a result of updates, the state Department of Health removed one Maui case from the counts.

There are currently 375 active cases in the state, including 11 on Maui.

To date, 1148 people have recovered including 124 recovered in Maui County.

Currently there are 30 people hospitalized for COVID-19 (confirmed and suspected) in Hawaiʻi, according to Lt. Gov. Green.  He also noted that 130 of 244 ICU beds (53%) were in use, 13 of them by COVID-19 positive patients.  As for ventilators, 53 of 459 were in use (12%) with two COVID-19 patients using ventilators.

Of the 141 cases in Maui County, at least 124 have been released from isolation, and 26 have required hospitalization.  Based on the current numbers, there are 11 active cases in Maui County.

To date, there have been 26 COVID-19 related deaths in Hawaiʻi, including 19 on Oʻahu, six in Maui County, and one Kauaʻi resident who was hospitalized in Arizona. Prior COVID-19 related deaths are posted here.

In Maui County, cases with onset in the last 28 days have been in the Lahaina, Makawao, Kīhei and Kula zip codes.  Of the 141 cases documented in Maui County over the course of the pandemic, Wailuku, Kahului and Lahaina had the most cases (more than 20 cases each); followed by Kīhei (11-20 cases); Makawao and Spreckelsville (6-10 cases); and Kula, Hāna, Haʻikū and Molokaʻi (1-5 cases each).

Age breakdown is not available by county; however there is a breakdown of the statewide count.  Of the 1371 (excludes 22 residents diagnosed out of state) cases recorded *as of July 20 statewide (updated weekly): 132 were 0-19 years old (one of which required hospitalization); 487 were 20-39 years old (12 of which required hospitalization); 447 were 40-59 years old (37 of which required hospitalization; and three deaths); and 305 were 60+ years old (80 of which required hospitalization; and 20 deaths).

Maui County has six COVID-19 related deaths

  • Maui reported its first COVID-19 related death on Monday, April 6, of an adult male over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions and exposure to travelers.
  • The second Maui death was announced on Wednesday, April 8, and was an unattended death.
  • A third death in Maui County reportedly occurred on April 7, but was reported in the state count on Friday, April 10.  The third case involved an elderly individual who was in the chronic care unit.
  • The fourth case was confirmed on April 19, and was an adult male from Washington state in the 40-59-year age group who had no previous medical conditions. State health officials say the man’s exposure history may be travel-related.  The man had been hospitalized for an extended period in serious condition at Maui Memorial Medical Center.
  • The fifth Maui case occurred on Monday April 20 and involved a man who had underlying health conditions. He had been in the hospital at Maui Memorial Medical Center since late last year.  This person’s death is considered related to the MMMC cluster.
  • The sixth Maui case was reported on May 3, 2020. The case involved a woman, over the age of 60, with underlying medical conditions. She had been in the hospital at Maui Memorial Medical Center since late February. Her infection occurred in mid-April. “COVID-19 is not believed to be the primary cause of death, due to her other serious illnesses, but may have been a contributing factor to her passing,” health officials said.

Quarantine Updates: 

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.

“This decision came through much, much discussion, and we have accessed the situation that we see before us.  On the US mainland, we continue to see uncontrolled outbreaks and surges and we don’t believe that that situation would change significantly by Aug. 1st as we had hoped.  The outbreaks on the mainland aer also beginning to affect the supply chain of our testing supplies.” said Gov. Ige.

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.  This applies only to air travel within the state, and anyone arriving into the state would still be subject to a 14-day quarantine as outlined above.  Upon lifting the interisland quarantine, the state has implemented thermal screening, a new interisland travel form and a more robust contact tracing program.

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 will be 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.

Maui Public Schools Prepare for Start of Fall Semester in August

The state Department of Education still plans on re-opening classrooms in August for the Fall semester.  The department’s plans were reviewed on Thursday afternoon with the Senate Special Committee on COVID-19. Schools have three options to choose from: fully reopen with every student on campus for in-person instruction; come in on a rotating schedule with students doing both distance learning and in-person instruction; or do a full distance learning program. State School Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said models for individual schools are determined by the principals of respective schools.

Mayor Victorino Adds $3 Million to H.E.L.P. Program

Mayor Michael Victorino announced that Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. continues to accept applications for the Hawaiʻi Emergency Laulima Partnership (H.E.L.P.) program.

Through June 30, MEO received 5,690 applications and approved 4,361 for financial assistance through the program, for a total of $1.9 million in assistance.

The County of Maui has now allocated $5 million in general funds for the H.E.L.P. program, up from the initial $2 million when the program was launched. The program provided assistance to 11,775 individuals through the end of June.

The H.E.L.P. program provides financial assistance for Maui County residents to bridge the gap created by layoffs and reduction in work hours resulting in loss of income due to COVID-19. Assistance may be used for food, personal hygiene, medicine, rent, mortgage, utility payments, phone or Internet service, insurance or other essentials.

Beginning July 1, the maximum assistance in a 30-day period has increased to:

  • Family of 1-2, $500
  • Family of 3-4, $750
  • Family of 5-6, $1,000
  • Family of 7-plus, $1,250

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