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Hawaii health experts: Rising number of COVID cases is worrisome, but vaccinations will help

As infections increase across the state, some medical experts predict Hawaii is heading into another COVID surge.
Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 5:09 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2021 at 1:28 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As infections increase across the state, some medical experts predict Hawaii is heading into another COVID surge.

Health officials are saying the rise may be due to a number of factors, including fewer restrictions and more gatherings during the holiday season.

On Tuesday, the state reported 214 new COVID cases. Of those, 169 were on Oahu.

The Health Department says since Thanksgiving weekend, there’s been a 121% jump in cases.

While hospitalizations are still low, some experts say it’s a concerning trend.

“Two vaccines is not fully vaccinated in terms of Omicron. And even prior to Omicron, remember that we were starting to get waning immunity even with Delta,” said Dr. Scott Miscovich, of Premier Medical Group. “Our country is facing a major winter surge between January through April.”

What’s unclear is whether the increasing cases will strain the hospital system. But because of high vaccination rates, experts hope fewer people will get sick enough to need acute care.

“It takes a while, two weeks or more for people, for many people who get sick with COVID to be sick enough that they need to be hospitalized,” said Dr. Janet Berreman, DOH Kauai district health officer.

“It’s really too early to tell whether this rise in cases is gonna be followed by a rise in hospitalizations.”

According to the DOH, just under 286,000 people have received a third vaccine dose.

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