Four new coronavirus cases on Oahu and one each on Maui and Kauai were confirmed Wednesday, health officials announced.

The six new cases documented Wednesday took the state COVID-19 case count to 95, following the news that a death previously reported to be related to COVID-19 was made in error.

To date, no deaths caused by COVID-19 have been reported in Hawaii.

“Now is the time to practice social distancing,” DOH Director Bruce Anderson said.

The Hawaii COVID-19 case count rose by five cases on Wednesday. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

Oahu has by far the most COVID-19 cases, with 68 to date, followed by Maui with 13, and five each for Hawaii and Kauai counties.

Four other cases are still pending investigation, according to the department.

The state and private laboratories have conducted more than 4,600 COVID-19 tests to date. Private and state labs collectively have the ability to test almost 1,000 people a day for the coronavirus, according to State Laboratories Division Director Edward Desmond.

Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara, director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, or HI-EMA, said the agency is working with the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the health department to assess which facilities could be refurbished and renovated for COVID-19 medical care or general hospital expansion.

The Army Corps has a plan to retrofit and refurbish rooms, possibly hotel rooms, into negative air pressure isolation units for specialized COVID-19 care, he said.

“The limiting factors would be supplies and construction materials that are in the state and counties,” Hara said. “Obviously hotels would have to agree to refurbishing a room. We still need to find beds, medical equipment, and staffing, the doctors and nurses. But we are definitely working vigorously on that.”

This is an ongoing story. Check back to Civil Beat for updates.

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