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With 500th COVID death, Hawaii hits a heartbreaking milestone in pandemic

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Vaccine Image / Generic(Hawaii News Now)
Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 4:53 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The pandemic hit a grim milestone this Memorial Day weekend with Hawaii recording its 500th death to COVID-19.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green and medical experts said any lives lost to the virus are tragic, but they urged residents to remember that the initial forecasts were far worse.

“I will say though that it’s bittersweet ― bitter that we lost anyone at all,” he said.

“But sweet that we didn’t see what we thought might happen, which was over 4,400 fatalities if we were unable to keep the virus under control.”

Green says some of the state’s top epidemiologists came up with the worst-case scenario, which assumed that the disease would continue to spread, taxing the state’s healthcare system.

He and other medical experts credit the statewide stay-at-home orders, the mask mandate, a mass vaccination campaign and Hawaii’s medical workers with keeping Hawaii’s mortality rate among the lowest in the country.

“We really have something to be proud of, to not see 1,000, 2,000 or more fatalities,” he said.

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