Hawaii reports higher COVID case count due to Maui lab reporting issue

Hawaii reports higher COVID case count due to Maui lab reporting issue

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Department of Health said that Saturday’s higher COVID-19 case count is the result of a lab reporting issue on Maui.

Hawaii reported 106 COVID-19 cases Saturday, which is a significant increase in cases compared to previous days.

Of those cases reported, 75 were on Maui.

DOH Disease Outbreak and Control Division said that 31 cases from Maui were not previously confirmed due to a laboratory reporting issue.

These cases occurred between Nov. 29 and Feb. 18.

DOCD said that although the cases appear as new compared to previous case totals, they are not included in the current 7-day averages.

The division will update the Hawaii COVID-19 Data page, adding these confirmed cases to the counts according to the date of test result, rather than the date of the test report.

The higher case counts on Maui included 19 positive cases that are part of a current cluster at Maui Community Correctional Center and a cluster at a community housing complex. Community spread is also the cause of smaller clusters related to food and drink establishments.

Contact tracing, isolation and quarantine measures are being used to control these clusters. Vaccination is also being offered at MCCC and in areas where outbreaks are a concern.

Mayor Victorino said, “DOH officials report the California variant, recently identified on Maui, is more transmissible, so residents and visitors must be even more vigilant in following public health safety guidelines, especially wearing face masks, avoiding gatherings and maintaining a safe distance from others. I am consulting with our medical advisors to determine if additional restrictions are needed at this time.”

Dr. Lorrin Pang, the DOH Maui District Health Officer, is concerned that higher case counts could be ahead due to community spread.

”We really need to ramp up compliance to safety protocols or the alternative would be really high case numbers in the coming week, possibly resulting in tighter restrictions,” Pang said.

Although restrictions are relaxing in some places, Pang and other health experts urge the people of Hawaii to mask up, practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.