21 more COVID-19 cases are reported Sunday

Lt. Gov. Green says 42-case spike is a result of July 4 gatherings

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii is reporting 21 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday.

Oahu continues to lead the islands in new cases with 19 of the 21. Hawaii Island and Maui each saw one additional case Sunday. The total since the pandemic began is now at 1,220.

Department of Health officials also said they removed one previous case from Honolulu as a result of updated data.

This comes a day after Hawaii set a new record high. There were 42 new cases reported on Saturday with 38 on Oahu, and two each on Hawaii Island and Maui county.

The previous single-day record high was 41.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green says while these spikes are manageable for now, things could change.

“40 becomes 70 ... becomes 130 and then it’s gone,” he said. “If things get out of control, you’re going to see very draconian requests to clamp it down in our state,” he said Saturday.

Green added that the spike is likely a result of July 4 gatherings. He said the state needs more contact tracers to really get an upper hand on the virus.

“We have to have 500 people (contact tracers) even though it sounds maybe like a lot of people, it’s not. We need to have that many people full time looking under every rock and around every corner for cases. So we can, no matter what, immediately contact trace and stop the virus from spreading,” Lt. Gov. Green said.

Meanwhile, 18 more people were released from isolation, bringing that number to 890 total.

Hawaii’s death toll stands at 19.

The rising number of cases over the past few weeks — both in Hawaii and across the mainland — have raised concerns about Gov. David Ige’s current plans to reopen Hawaii for tourism on Aug. 1.

The current plan would allow incoming travelers to avoid the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine if they test negative for coronavirus no more than 72 hours before they land.

Ige has not yet announced any changes to the plan, but he issued a statement on Friday that read, “The mayors and I have had productive meetings this week about the pre-travel testing program. We are assessing the current situation in Hawaii and on the mainland, and we’ll make an announcement when we are satisfied that the plans will protect the health and safety of our residents and guests.”

Meanwhile, the state Health Department also reported:

  • 890 people in Hawaii diagnosed with COVID-19 have been released from isolation.
  • The number of people who have required hospitalization is 125, while the death toll stands at 19.
  • More than 102,000 people in the islands have been tested for COVID-19.

Here’s the latest county-by-county breakdown of confirmed positives:

OAHU

  • Total cases: 923
  • Released from isolation: 642
  • Required hospitalization: 95
  • Deaths: 13

MAUI COUNTY

  • Total cases: 134 (includes 2 on Molokai)
  • Released from isolation: 119
  • Required hospitalization: 25
  • Deaths: 6

KAUAI

  • Total cases: 43
  • Released from isolation: 39
  • Required hospitalization: 1
  • Deaths: 0

BIG ISLAND

  • Total cases: 101
  • Released from isolation: 90
  • Required hospitalization: 3
  • Deaths: 0

UNASSIGNED

  • Hawaii residents diagnosed out-of-state: 19
  • Pending assignment to county: 0

This story will be updated.

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