Hawaii recorded 109 new daily cases of COVID-19 today – the highest number ever since the pandemic hit Hawaii in February.
The state Department of Health, which processed 5,160 tests, said it had anticipated the explosion due to laboratory closures next Sunday and Monday following Hurricane Douglas. Laboratories typically process between 1,000 and 2,000 tests per day. The 109 positive results represent 2.1% of the total tests administered, which is in line with the overall rate of positive results since the state began testing in March.
“The dramatic increase in cases reported today was anticipated on recent trends from the Fourth of July weekend, which continue,” state Health Director Dr Bruce Anderson said in a news release .
He said the state is increasing in both small and large social gatherings, including on beaches and in parks, in homes and workplaces, he said.
Health officials have identified multiple household groups due to a house party, birthday celebrations, Father’s Day and Fourth of July, religious functions and “co-workers sitting in long meetings while remove masks to eat or drink, ”as well as for shopping, funeral events, drinking meeting and socializing in bars, the DOH said.
The daily count includes 98 on Oahu, nine on Maui and two on Kauai. The number of positive cases across the state is now 1,863.
“We have recently seen an increase in cases associated with bars, shops of other establishments where distance and physical scheduling are not regularly practiced. On the basis of data collected on cases through our investigations and tracking of contacts, we recommend that strategic actions be taken to further restrict the activities associated with these cases, “Anderson said. “Places where multiple groups have been identified, such as in bars and pubs, will obviously be targeted.”
Dozens of COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized after a number of coronavirus outbreaks, including one in Kalihi among Pacific Islanders living in large multigenerational homes.
Hawaii officials have raised the possibility of reversing recent steps to open up the economy after the state saw an increase in daily cases over the past week – 64 new infections on Sunday, 73 Saturday, 60 on Friday and 55 on Thursday.
Prior to Thursday, Hawaii’s daily record for new cases was 42 on July 11th. On Monday and Tuesday the number dropped to 28 and 47, but only because state labs were closed Sunday due to the threat of Hurricane Douglas.
The recent outbreak of coronavirus cases has led officials to consider reintroducing the 14-day quarantine of inter-Icelandic travel, which was lifted on 16 June.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is also calling for the closure of Oahu bars for three weeks; a warrant to wear a mask both indoors and outdoors; and limiting social gatherings to 10 people or less.
“This is an ugly step that no one wanted to see in Hawaii. It may be time for another call to do everything we do individually to prevent the spread of this virus even further,” said Dr James Ireland. community doctor. ”At this point we can’t blame the tourists and the majority of businesses, who have made changes to protect us. This falls to individual responsibility. “