Recategorizing COVID numbers

LIHU‘E — The state Department of Health reported a total of nine new cases of COVID-19 in the state on Friday, but that number includes three older cases that were recategorized as “a result of data-clearing,” with one of those cases each being on O‘ahu, Maui and Kaua‘i.

In the last week of May one case was taken off of the Kaua‘i cumulative list of COVID-19 cases, and DOH Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman explained both reclassifications involved a single Kaua‘i case.

“One of our cases, which was reported and managed appropriately and in a timely fashion (with isolation and monitoring), was recategorized due to new information about the lab testing. This resulted in it being removed from our case count (when the count moved from 21 to 20),” Berreman said Friday.

Upon further review of the lab-test information, that same case was again recategorized as a case, bringing the Kaua‘i case count back up to 21. So, the newest case added to the Kaua‘i list wasn’t a case that was missed, nor is it a new case, but rather reflects lab issues with a single case.

“In the earlier days of the pandemic, laboratory testing was being performed at multiple labs with multiple instruments of varying sensitivity. We now have much more consistency and anticipate that this sort of reclassification will be less common going forward,” Berreman said.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Hawai‘i that have been reported since Feb. 28 is 664, with 614 of those cases released from isolation.

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority reported Friday that there was a total of 1,621 passenger arrivals in the state on Thursday, which marked 10 weeks since the state’s mandatory, 14-day, traveler self-quarantine. Thursday’s arrivals included 546 visitors and 433 returning residents. There was a total of 19 arriving flights.

The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency announced Friday it has been awarded $3.7 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to cover expenses incurred from COVID-19 response.

The funding was made available under a presidential disaster declared on April 1. This expedited award reimburses the 75% federal cost share associated with performing emergency protective measures utilizing force account and contract services to protect public health and safety and the purchasing of personal protective equipment, medical supplies and the lease of supply storage space.

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Jessica Else, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or jelse@thegardenisland.com.

1 Comments
  1. Everythingisawesome June 6, 2020 11:50 am Reply

    I totally understand this article. Wait, I just read it again using a different device and I DON’T understand it. Except for the part where the health officer changed her mind…so, I guess I DO understand it after all. I’ll read it again in a few weeks to see if I still understand it.


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