Green: Uptick in new cases is a reminder to socially distance, but not a big concern

Green: Uptick in new cases is a reminder to socially distance, but not a big concern

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state saw its COVID-19 statewide total swell by nine Friday, with six new and three older cases reported, just as more sectors of Oahu’s economy reopened.

All six of the new cases and one of the older cases are on Oahu. Meanwhile, Maui and Kauai had one older case each.

(The state initially reported that four of the cases reported Friday were older.)

The nine-case increase is the largest single-day bump since April 19.

Meanwhile, the state hasn’t seen six new cases in a single day since April 22. Instead, new cases have remained at three or under, and on many days the state has seen none.

Despite the increase, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said there’s “nothing to worry about.” Hawaii officials had warned residents to prepare for an uptick in cases as the economy reopens, and the governor has indicated that the daily tally could grow to the double digits in the coming weeks and months.

Green said Friday’s total is “no big surge.”

“Just be careful. We may have a couple days when our cases aren’t just one or zero,” he said. "We’re really good from a healthcare standpoint. This doesn’t change anything about our reopening strategy."

Hawaii Health Department Director Bruce Anderson agreed, but added the new cases show that the virus is “still lingering in our community.”

He added that of the six new cases on Oahu, four may be related. “They were in the same general area and may be related individuals,” he said.

In recent weeks, most businesses that cater to Hawaii residents have been allowed to reopen or given a date to be able to do so.

On Friday, restaurants on Oahu were allowed to reopen their dining rooms, though social distancing guidelines mean they can seat far fewer people.

Meanwhile, bars, museums, movie theaters and other venues have been told they can reopen June 19.

This story will be updated.

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