Coronavirus forecasting models show worsening outlook for Hawaii

Hawaii is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
Hawaii is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.(Hawaii News Now/file)
Updated: Aug. 11, 2020 at 5:59 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - State forecasting paints a worsening picture for Hawaii’s COVID-19 crisis, according to models obtained by Hawaii News Now.

The models, which are not released to the public, show there could be 7,617 total cases of coronavirus before the end of the month. Currently, the state has about 3,700 cases.

The models also show 34 deaths, a mark the state passed Tuesday, and 385 hospitalizations.

[Read more: Experts: COVID-19 is spreading in Hawaii at a faster rate than anywhere else in the nation]

Separately, a UH professor and his three undergraduate students have created their own COVID-19 forecasts for Oahu that are available for public viewing.

“This is one contribution that the UH can offer to the community,” said Albert Kim, graduate chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

[See the UH model by clicking here.]

Some of their conservative models show 4,127 cases on Oahu by August 31, but worst-case scenarios show nearly 5,000 total cases on Oahu more than a week earlier ― on August 23.

“My reaction originally was like damn. It’s like damn because we’ve already had a massive spike and 200 cases in a single day,” said UH research assistant Seth Colburn.

Brenton Sasaoka, a UH sophomore and research assistant, says many young people think they’re invincible to the virus or won’t pass it on to others in their family.

“It’s kinda sad to see. A couple of my friends I see renting AirBNBs or going to their aunty’s house and having weekend parties with all their friends,” Sasaoka said.

"I go to the gym and see people pulling down their mask and not taking it serious," he added.

Their website,, has easy-to-read statistics that the group says is important for spreading awareness and stopping the virus.

"For a while it was easy to get complacent because the numbers were low, but you didn't see the effects for two weeks," said UH research assistant Kim Fong.

"It helps to push that idea of staying attentive because you don't know what the effects are going to be because it's so far out," he added.

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