HONOLULU — The Department of Health’s (DOH) Disease Outbreak Control Division (DOCD) reports an elderly Kaua‘i resident is the 22nd recorded COVID-19 death. This person died out of state, in Arizona, where he had been receiving treatment for several months for underlying medical conditions.
DOH did not provide the name of the individual.
The 21st fatality was also reported by DOCD over the weekend. This female died in an O‘ahu hospital Sunday morning and had previously been a resident of a care home. Today DOCD confirmed the 20th death, which occurred on July 7th, as an elderly O‘ahu man with underlying medical issues. His death was added after a review of his health history and discussions with his primary care physician.
State Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson said, “We all extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of these three people. The best tribute to their lives and to the lives of all 22 people who’ve lost the fight against coronavirus, is getting everyone in Hawai‘i to take personal responsibility for their own health and the health of everyone around them.”
Most of the 86 additional cases recorded since last Friday are in previous clusters associated with “community-spread”, according to DOH. For example, a total of 44 cases are associated with a training activity at Hawaiian Airlines, in which a person infected during these meetings, is linked to a cluster of 20 cases involving two O‘ahu gyms. According to State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park, “This clearly shows how easily and quickly this virus can spread from person-to-person and from place-to-place when people are not practicing physical distancing, not wearing masks, not staying home when sick, and possibly not washing their hands frequently and thoroughly.”
Health experts urge individuals and our community as a whole to maintain safe practices and encourage others to do so to prevent the continuation of a spike in cases. Saturday had the greatest single day number of reported cases (42) since DOH began tracking cases in late February.
Other clusters, where community-spread is clearly the cause of additional cases, are pau hana gatherings, businesses, urgent care and long-term care facilities, and household clusters associated with social interactions (birthday parties, Father’s Day, 4th of July and religious functions).
“While the majority of Hawai‘i’s residents are using safe practices, clearly there are some who are not, and frankly unless everyone pays attention, we’ll unfortunately continue to see illnesses and deaths associated with COVID-19. Personal responsibility is the way we’ll again flatten the curve and retain Hawai‘i’s leadership through this unprecedented public health crisis. The upward trend of cases not only impacts people’s health but will likely delay our state’s economic recovery,” Anderson said.