HONOLULU — The highest, single-day record of new positive COVID-19 cases is being reported by the Dept. of Health today, at 207. Approximately 114 of these cases are the result of delayed reporting over the weekend, a result of private clinical laboratory reporting issues.
No new cases were reported on Kaua‘i; the number of active cases on the island remains at two, with both cases in isolation.
Health Director Bruce Anderson said, “It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to detail all of the situations in which people are becoming infected with coronavirus. It runs the whole gamut of hanging out with close friends, socializing in bars, attending religious events and funerals, and many other types other social gatherings. This virus does not discriminate on who it infects and the only way to prevent its spread is to limit exposure to others by using face coverings, physical distancing and avoiding gatherings and crowded places. Unfortunately, Hawai‘i is experiencing spikes in cases similar to many mainland states, and in most cases, we can track new infections back to those who have let down their guard. Everyone needs to take this very seriously.”
Many beaches on O‘ahu were as crowded as they were before the COVID outbreak. On Maui, Little Beach in Makena State Park was less crowded than normal. This was likely the result of social media postings that suggested law enforcement would be on scene to break up so-called drum circles. Health investigations have traced at least one case in a person who recently attended a drum circle. With an estimated 100 people on the beach for sunset at Makena and the rising of the full moon, there were no masks in evidence and there appeared to be little, if any, physical distancing between groups of people. The scene here was repeated on beaches and in parks across the state.
The DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) reports receiving numerous complaints over the weekend of people, particularly in State Parks, not abiding by state and county emergency rules. This includes multiple complaints about people on small boats not following the required rules.
“As long as individuals in our communities fail to accept personal responsibility for the spread of COVID-19, we are unfortunately going to see continued days of triple digit numbers,” said Anderson. “This already has resulted in the renewal of restrictions on large social gatherings and other conditions and is likely going to lead to additional ones.”
Last week saw day-after-day of new record numbers, with most of the new infections being diagnosed in Honolulu. Today, 198 of the 207 cases are from O‘ahu, with seven on Maui and two on Hawai‘i Island.
Anderson concluded, “We are once again, as we have from the beginning of this crisis, asking every resident of Hawai‘i to take this threat with the utmost seriousness. Life, as we knew it, pre-COVID-19, cannot return to normal until we again flatten the infection curve. It takes everyone doing their part by following the simple and now-common steps: wear your mask, physically distance, wash your hands frequently and, perhaps most important, stay home if sick. With everyone’s kokua, we can get back to where we were and enjoy all the good things life in Hawai‘i has to offer.”