Record 355 cases; more restrictions possible

LIHU‘E — “We have some very bad news to report today,” Gov. David Ige said at the start of his Thursday news conference.

The state announced Thursday a record 355 new cases of COVID-19 across the islands, following several days of other triple-digit reports.

The state also reported two additional deaths in a 24-hour period, bringing the statewide death toll to 40. Both of the fatalities were O‘ahu men over the age of 60.

Ige warned that if this spike in cases does not stop, the implementation of previously-lifted restrictions, like stay-at-home orders, may be on the horizon.

“It has been a week since we’ve reinstated some of the restrictions and a couple of days since we restarted the interisland, 14-day, mandatory travel quarantine,” Ige said. “We hope that these measures will help control the virus. If things do not get better, we will have no choice but to look at more restrictions.”

Ige also acknowledged that the anticipated trans-Pacific travel opening date of Sept. 1 with a pre-travel negative test is out of the picture.

“I know that going backward will cause further harm to our economy, but we have always said that the health and safety of our community will be the highest priority,” Ige said. “As we have seen, this rapid increase has put significant stress on our hospital and health-care system.”

As of Thursday, about 40% of those diagnosed with COVID-19 have recovered, per Lt. Gov. Dr. Josh Green. About 146 are currently hospitalized, with about 56% of available ICU (intensive-care unit) beds occupied across the state.

“We are headed in the wrong direction,” Ige said. “We are seeing numerous clusters and high spread.”

Ige said seemingly-innocent interactions as small as chatting at a water station at work or eating lunch together “must stop.”

“We must take actions and take personal responsibility to stop these interactions to bring the disease back under control,” Ige said.

Part of the count included 70 additional inmates at O‘ahu Community Correctional Center and seven corrections officers, as reported by state’s Department of Public Safety.

The state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office reported two new positive cases of COVID-19 on Kaua‘i, bringing the island’s total number of active cases to six, and the cumulative total of cases to date to 53.

One new case is a minor resident who is a household contact of another currently-active case.

The second new case is a visiting adult who recently traveled to Kaua‘i from out of state and has been quarantined since arrival.

All six active cases are in isolation. The DOH contact-tracing investigation is ongoing. All identified close contacts are being directed to quarantine and offered tests.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the county had 39 contacts under quarantine, per the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency.

None of the cases have required hospitalization.

All incoming arrivals to Kaua‘i are subject to the state’s 14-day mandatory traveler quarantine, which kicked back up earlier this week.

There are very-limited situations in which modified quarantine permissions are allowed, including people who must travel interisland for critical infrastructure jobs, or those who must travel for medical reasons.

“Our recent cases show that the mandatory traveler quarantine is an important tool in protecting our island from spreading disease here,” stated Mayor Derek Kawakami.

“I can only hope that the 355 new cases reported across the state today serves as a wake-up call for both our visitors and residents that now is simply not the time for leisurely travel.”

Interisland travelers who believe they qualify for modified quarantine should visit kauai.gov/COVID-19 and click on the “Modified Quarantine Request” button at the top of the page.

Requests should be submitted at least two days prior to the date of travel.

One of Thursday’s new cases was reflected on the state’s COVID-19 website at hawaiicovid19.com. The second case is expected to be part of today’s statewide count.

9 Comments
  1. Everythingisawesome August 14, 2020 5:44 am Reply

    I recall two other unprepared states, California and New York, that had grave concerns that their hospitals would be overrun with virus patients. Their worst fears, that patients would die due to a lack of services, never materialized. But, they weren’t too proud to ask the Federal government for help, which was quickly, and freely, supplied in the form of floating hospitals. If only there were a water route between the mainland and Hawaii…

    Where is the leadership in this state? Lots of scolding, finger pointing and hand wringing over a rise in non-hospitalized cases when there are obvious solutions.


    1. WAVE August 14, 2020 3:41 pm Reply

      EVERYTHING YOU ARE EXACTLY CORRECT !

      COMON YOU IDIOT GOVERNOR AND COUNTY MAYORS !!!!!

      WHERE ARE THE SHIPS ????? JUST ASK YOU CLOWNS.

      JUST ASK THEY WILL SEND THEM !! EVERYONE WANTS TO GO TO HAWAII SHEEEEESH !!!


  2. Colin McCleod August 14, 2020 8:31 am Reply

    More stay at home and lock-downs will absolutely devastate people that NEED to work. It will take decades for the economy to recover.
    Many more people will die–from suicide, drug overdoses, cancer, tuberculosis, pneumonia and cardiovascular disease because they will not be able to get proper diagnoses.
    This knee-jerk reaction of incompetent politicians who can’t read or understand the statistics is short sighted and typical of the one size fits all mandates enforced by police state tactics.
    Viruses need to run their courses…which they will no matter what the politicians and bureaucrats think will work. Hiding under coercion and hoping that the Corona virus will someday wake up, pack its bags and just go away is a fantasy. The most kind thing that our rulers could do is to stop the scare-mongering and explain that only the most vulnerable need to take drastic measures to protect THEMSELVES with the help of their families. The rest of us should be left to live our lives. Most people know that living is risky, but as the saying goes…that’s life.
    Colin McCleod


    1. Michael August 16, 2020 5:39 am Reply

      It is most fortunate that Mr. McCleod has no authority or influence regarding public health policy. The McCleods of the world will continue to “live their lives”, gathering in places like Sturgis and Lake Okoboji, spreading their uninformed gospel and COVID-19.


  3. Kauaidoug August 14, 2020 11:37 am Reply

    Yikes!!


  4. WOH August 15, 2020 4:09 pm Reply

    Amen.


  5. Francis Hagan August 15, 2020 7:01 pm Reply

    I agree with both of the above comments. Where is the help for all the small businesses destroyed not by a virus but by government shutdowns. Hawaii has received billions in federal aide why not support businesses with these funds? The mayor, governor, don’t seem to care and have provided no support at all! They sure seem to enjoy their power but lack empathy and have failed to take measures to maintain the Hawaii economy. Hawaii is on the verge of a depression created by the inaction of our Governor and mayors. In our complacency we grant them power. It’s time we all wake up and take our state back and send them on their way!


  6. Khsgrad August 15, 2020 8:40 pm Reply

    I am done with Hawaii’s inept dancing mayor and the hysteria of this democratic run state- I will be selling my house and getting out of this place once and for all; of bogus stay-at-home orders are out back in place- not being able to sit on a beach BY MYSeLF is beyond stupid- just like the majority of your “politicians”


  7. Numbers don't lie August 16, 2020 3:39 pm Reply

    The historical average for ICU hospital bed occupancy is 68% nationwide (as of 2017). Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5520980/

    This means that the current Hawaii ICU occupancy cited in the article is LOWER than ordinary occupancy.

    This article does not state how many (if any) of these cases are occupying ICU beds.

    If every one of the 355 reported new cases were in ICU beds that would account for only 14% of the state’s 2535 acute care hospital beds.
    (Source: https://health.hawaii.gov/shpda/files/2018/10/Table-1-Licensed-beds-Acute-2017.pdf)


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