Statewide total for COVID-19 cases now at 371; DOH reports 4th death

Updated: Apr. 6, 2020 at 6:13 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Sunday’s COVID-19 update shows 20 new cases in Hawaii. The state’s total is now at 371.

Health officials also counted the states 4th apparent COVID-19 related death, which was initially reported Saturday.

The fourth death, according to the Department of Health, was an elderly East Oahu man. Officials clarified, saying the man may have been exposed to someone who had recently traveled. The man was hospitalized and he died Saturday morning.

The county by county case breakdown is as follows:

  • Oahu: 281
  • Maui County: 43 (2 on Molokai)
  • Big Island: 22
  • Kauai: 16
  • Pending: 7
  • Diagnosed out of state: 2

The state says 21 people so far have required hospitalization. Meanwhile 85 people total have been released from isolation. That means it’s been three days since they’ve exhibited symptoms or seven since they first got sick, whichever is longest.

As of Sunday, there have been over 13,500 coronavirus tests conducted statewide by private and state labs.

All of Sunday’s patients were adults. Sunday’s count includes a new case reported overnight on Molokai. The DOH said 11 of the new reported cases are travel-associated and two are community related. Seven are pending investigation.

Of the numbers released a day earlier on Saturday, two minors are among those who tested positive.

Below is a visual map laying out the spread of coronavirus cases island by island as of Friday, April 3.

This map outlines the location of the cases. Light yellow represents 1-5 cases while red is 21...
This map outlines the location of the cases. Light yellow represents 1-5 cases while red is 21 or more.(Dept. of Health)

Hawaii has seen consistent double digit jumps daily. On Friday, officials reported 34 new cases, in one of the largest single-day jumps for the state since this began.

Also on Friday, the governor activated 250 Hawaii National Guard members to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. David Ige said the National Guard members — from four units — will provide assistance to Hawaii emergency management officials and help to distribute critical supplies to health care professionals.

“The only way for Hawaii to deal with and survive this crisis is if we all work together,” Ige said.

Hawaii News Now has also been in touch with family members of one of the patients who died.

The man’s family identified him as Art Whistler, 75, a well-known ethnobotanist in the state. He had been hospitalized at Kaiser Moanalua for weeks.

The elderly Hawaii man, whose death was announced Friday, tested positive for coronavirus after returning from Washington state in early March.

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Hawaii’s case count has more than tripled since March 26. The first Hawaii case of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, was reported March 6.

The first coronavirus-related death in Hawaii was reported Tuesday. All three people who have died were Oahu residents.

The governor and state Health Department offered condolences to Whistler’s family Friday.

“It’s certainly a tragic reminder that the spread of COVID-19 is a danger to everyone," state Health Department Director Bruce Anderson said.

He added that it appears spread of the virus continues to be “localized,” rather than widespread.

“We’re seeing some clusters of illness, individuals in the same family (or) the same gathering,” Anderson said. “So far, we haven’t seen any widespread transmission within any particular community.”

Whistler was just the second confirmed case of coronavirus in Hawaii. The Health Department announced the case March 8, saying at the time he was “very, very ill.”

DOH officials said he got sick on March 2 and returned to Hawaii on March 4, flying from Seattle to Honolulu. After returning to Oahu, he sought care at an urgent care facility but was not tested for coronavirus.

On March 7, paramedics with EMS were called and the man was transported from his home to Kaiser Moanalua. It was at that point that he was tested for coronavirus.

This story will be updated.

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