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State reports 156 new COVID-19 cases after triple-digit jump in infections on Oahu

Updated: Nov. 4, 2020 at 5:15 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state reported 156 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a worrying jump that officials said they were watching closely.

Of the new cases, 125 are on Oahu, 21 are on Hawaii Island, four are on Maui, one is on Lanai.

There were also five residents diagnosed out-of-state.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the increase could mean Oahu is moving “not a good direction.”

“We stay up there, we move back to Tier 1,” he said, referring to the city’s reopening strategy. Tier 1 carries the toughest COVID-19 restrictions.

“This is so serious,” he said. “I don’t know what else to say as mayor.”

Oahu has been seeing its new infections tick up in recent days, but this is the first triple-digit increase in new cases on the island since Oct. 9.

Meanwhile, the Neighbor Islands are also seeing new clusters of cases.

And that has healthcare leaders worried about the next few weeks. There is plenty of hospital bed space right now but that could change if case numbers continue to trend up, they said.

“We do have an increase in the number of our ICUs (who) are on ventilators and that’s concerning because our COVID numbers are down, and we haven’t hit the flu season yet,” said Hilton Raethel, president and CEO of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii.

Raethel said the tourism relaunch combined with continued community gatherings are reasons for the higher case counts.

The Big Island’s 21 new cases Wednesday are the result of a growing cluster on the Kona side.

Kona Community Hospital reports that it has enough open beds should people need care, but they are preparing for a post Halloween increase in patients.

“After a holiday or after a long weekend, or after we hear that there’s been a large gathering in the community for certain events, we definitely get on high alert,” said Lisa Downing, infection prevention and employee health director of Kona Community Hospital.

On the Hilo side of the island, recent clusters have subsided.

Hilo Medical Center is at 80% capacity, mostly non-COVID-19 patients.

“Generally speaking, our ICU is always full at least with 10 or 11 patients. And then our staff has to work really hard to free up a bed if someone comes through our ER,” said Elena Cabatu, director of public relations at Hilo Medical Center.

Cabatu said there are three patients with coronavirus at the facility.

Maui Health System CEO Mike Rembis said Maui Memorial Medical Center is at 72% capacity as of Wednesday. The facility also has three coronavirus patients admitted, two of them are from Lanai.

Lanai’s total has now exceeded 100 cases.

Oahu hospitals reported that there is available bed space, should the Neighbor Islands need help.

The new cases push the statewide total for cases since the pandemic began to 15,473. No new deaths were reported Wednesday. The official death toll stands at 219.

The island-by-island breakdown of cases is below:

  • 13,445 total cases
  • 10,532 released from isolation
  • 995 required hospitalization
  • 170 deaths
  • 1,312 total cases
  • 945 released from isolation
  • 65 required hospitalization
  • 31 deaths
  • 414 total cases
  • 363 released from isolation
  • 57 required hospitalization
  • 17 deaths
  • 104 total cases (103 associated with current outbreak)
  • 43 released from isolation
  • 2 required hospitalization
  • 0 deaths
  • 17 total cases
  • 15 released from isolation
  • 1 required hospitalization
  • 0 deaths
  • 67 total cases
  • 60 released from isolation
  • 3 required hospitalization
  • 0 deaths
  • 94 total cases
  • 2 required hospitalization
  • 1 death

This story will be updated.

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