COVID deaths mount in Hawaii as daily cases, hospitalizations trend downward

Officials anticipate that will continue for several weeks.
Published: Sep. 26, 2021 at 4:52 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 27, 2021 at 4:29 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With 10 new deaths reported by the state Sunday, Hawaii has seen some 175 COVID fatalities in the past 30 days. This is despite a downward trend in daily cases reported and hospitalizations.

Lt. Josh Green believes the fatalities will also drop, but not until mid-October.

“That has always been a lagging indicator — two to three weeks. So we’ll continue to see the cases decline and the hospitalizations decline but it will take another two or three weeks before the fatalities drop off,” said Green.

Green said the recent deaths involved people who got sick in early September when the number of hospitalizations were at its peak.

Since then, hospitalizations have dropped by about half.

“We will see a subsequent drop in fatalities by 50% in two or three weeks,” he said.

He said there’s another benefit of fewer people getting hospitalized: Unlike other states, Hawaii won’t have to ration emergency services because there’s now less stress on the state’s healthcare system.

Idaho and Alaska — whose healthcare systems are being overwhelmed by new cases — recently imposed a crisis standard of care where healthcare operators decide who they treat based on the patient’s chances of survival.

In a letter, Green urged the nation’s governors to use their influence get more people vaccinated and to reach out to federal agencies for help to avoid this form of rationing.

“Other states are going to fall short, they are going to be overwhelmed and end up invoking what I think is just a tragic healthcare decision,” he said.

“There’s no question some governors are allowing COVID to roll through their system for political gain. And it’s really tragic because this should not be a political question it should be a health question.”

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