16th patient with COVID-19 dies in Hawaii; number of new cases continues downward trend

Monday's 5 p.m. Newscast

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 16th person with COVID-19 has died in Hawaii, authorities confirmed, saying the woman had been hospitalized since early April.

The patient was an Oahu resident over 65 years old with underlying health conditions.

Authorities have not yet determined whether the woman got sick as a result of community spread.

Meanwhile, the Health Department reported just one new coronavirus case in the islands on Monday, continuing an encouraging downward trend in new infections.

“I can’t imagine a flatter curve,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green, in a Facebook post.

The case is linked to the COVID-19 cluster at Maui Memorial Medical Center, the Health Department said, and brings the total number of cases reported statewide since the pandemic began to 607.

More than 80% of those residents have since recovered.

The fatality announced Monday is the second reported in Hawaii in as many days.

On Sunday night, authorities announced an Oahu man who has been hospitalized since early March after apparently contracting COVID-19 through community spread had died.

The man was also over 65 years old and had underlying health conditions, officials said.

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The deaths come as Hawaii continues to see its daily tally of new coronavirus cases follow a downward trend — in what authorities say is proof the state has been able to dramatically slow the spread of the virus in Hawaii.

But they also note that a number of people remain hospitalized for COVID-19 complications.

Hawaii has the nation’s lowest fatality rate for coronavirus — at under 1% — but officials are quick to note that upwards of 25% of seniors who have gotten sick have required hospitalization.

Concerns about that vulnerable population have officials urging residents to maintain social distancing guidelines for the foreseeable future and limit public interactions to essential activities only.

On Saturday, with a sixth supplementary proclamation on the pandemic, the governor extended his mandatory quarantine for travelers and stay-at-home order through May 31, saying Hawaii’s “isn’t out of the woods yet."

This story will be updated.

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