248 new COVID-19 cases reported, pushing statewide total to 6,600

Hundreds of people turned out to a drive-thru test site Saturday in Waipio.
Hundreds of people turned out to a drive-thru test site Saturday in Waipio.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Aug. 23, 2020 at 1:32 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 23, 2020 at 1:34 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii reported 248 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, pushing the statewide total since the pandemic began to 6,600.

Of the new cases, 228 were on Oahu, eight were on the Big Island and 12 were on Maui. This is the fifth straight day that Hawaii has seen more than 200 new infections.

The 248 cases Sunday were out of 2,640 tests conducted, a 9.4% positivity rate.

Meanwhile, state officials said there are currently 192 coronavirus patients hospitalized in Hawaii. Of those, 35 patients are in intensive care and 19 are on ventilators.

There were no additional deaths reported.

On Saturday, a 36-year-old man became Hawaii’s latest COVID-19 fatality — and one of its youngest.

The Institute for Human Services identified him as Willie Talamoa, an employee at one of its homeless shelters. He was remembered as “always upbeat and positive.”

[Read more: 36-year-old Oahu man who died of COVID-19 remembered as ‘always upbeat and positive’]

[Read more: 5 Oahu hospitals at or near capacity as coronavirus infections continue to surge]

The continued surge of new infections comes as the state marked two weeks Friday since authorities closed beaches, parks and other gathering places.

Since COVID-19′s incubation period is 14 days, it would appear those restrictions haven’t worked to dramatically bring down case counts, but it’s still too early to say whether new rules that went into effect this week on gatherings and group sizes at attractions will slow the spread of the virus on Oahu.

This month alone, the state has seen more than 4,400 cases. This week, it reported upwards of 1,400.

Statewide, there are more than 4,400 “active” cases, which means those who tested positive are still potentially infectious. Lt. Gov. Josh Green has called for a state shutdown if active cases surpass 3,500, but Gov. David Ige and others have pushed back and instead opted for more targeted restrictions.

“Please everyone be very careful. Wear masks. Do not gather,” Green said, in a Facebook post Sunday.

The state Health Department has maintained that while the surge is worrisome, hospitals are able to handle the influx of new patients. In fact, state Health Department Director Bruce Anderson struck an optimistic note earlier this week when case counts briefly dropped, but added the state wasn’t out of the woods yet.

Here’s the latest county-by-county breakdown:

  • Total cases: 6,031
  • Released from isolation: 1,784
  • Required hospitalization: 350
  • Deaths: 39
  • Total cases: 290 (includes 3 on Molokai)
  • Released from isolation: 167
  • Required hospitalization: 36
  • Deaths: 7
  • Total cases: 56
  • Released from isolation: 51
  • Required hospitalization: 1
  • Deaths: 0
  • Total cases: 200
  • Released from isolation: 141
  • Required hospitalization: 7
  • Deaths: 0
  • Hawaii residents diagnosed out-of-state: 23
  • Hawaii residents who have died out-of-state: 1
  • Pending assignment to county: 0

This story will be updated.

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