Hawaii reports 166 new COVID cases, in highest single-day increase since January

Top stories from across Hawaii and around the world, as seen on the 5 p.m. news broadcast from Hawaii News Now.
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 11:53 AM HST|Updated: Jul. 15, 2021 at 5:24 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii reported 166 new COVID infections Thursday and one additional fatality, bringing the state’s death toll from the virus to 522.

It’s the highest single-day increase in cases since mid-January, and comes amid concerns that July Fourth gatherings are expected to further drive up case counts.

Hawaii also saw triple-digit rises in infections over the weekend.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green told HNN that some 99% of those testing positive in Hawaii are unvaccinated.

The state Health Department had a similar message Thursday, adding that the vast majority of those getting hospitalized for COVID now are also unvaccinated.

“When you look around the country, you see time and time again that where vaccination rates are low, infection rates are high,” said DOH spokesperson Brooks Baehr. “Where vaccination rates are high, infection rates are low and we suspect that is what is happening here in the islands.”

Of the new infections, 91 were on Oahu, 17 on Hawaii Island, 22 on Maui, and 14 on Kauai. There were also 22 cases of residents diagnosed out-of-state.

Officials add cases are rising among children living in households with unvaccinated adults.

“Kids who are under 12 can’t be vaccinated yet,” Green said. “I have a 10-year-old who is not vaccinated, can’t get it. I have a 14-year-old who is vaccinated, she will not catch COVID. So our little guy, we’re always going to have him wearing a mask when he’s indoors.”

The total number of cases in Hawaii since the start of the pandemic now stands at 38,819.

Over the last 14 days, the state Health Department said there have been 859 new cases statewide and infections show the Delta variant is spreading.

“The Delta spreads more quickly (and) it lands more people in the hospital,” Baehr said.

Meanwhile, the state also reported that 58.9% of Hawaii’s population is now fully vaccinated while 65.3% have gotten at least one dose.

“Please get vaccinated because if you get vaccinated, no. 1, you’re protected against severe illness, you’re just not gonna end up dying from COVID if you’re vaccinated, it’s very unlikely,” Green said.

“Two, to protect your children. Get the vaccine, so you can’t spread it to them.”

Below is the daily reporting chart provided by the state Health Department:

Below is the latest information provided by the DOH on Hawaii’s vaccination status:

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