Hawaii reported 32 new cases of COVID-19 in the islands and one death on Oahu Saturday as the total case count grows ever higher.
So far, 19 people have been hospitalized for treatments — one more than Friday — and 84 people have been released from isolation.
Oahu had 29 new cases, while Hawaii County, Maui County and Kauai County had two new cases each.
State officials have identified the fourth death as a man from East Oahu who was over 65 years old, had traveled and was hospitalized.
Cases in the state have more than doubled in the past week, and state leaders believe that the number will continue growing over the next several months. As of Saturday, Hawaii has 351 confirmed cases of the virus.
Well more than 300 people in the state could die from the virus this year, according to researchers at the University of Washington. However, models for predicting how much the virus will spread can vary.
“We hope we can get through this without putting undue strain on our health care system,” DOH Director Bruce Anderson said at a press conference Friday.
The majority of COVID-19 cases in Hawaii are residents who have recently traveled. Those kinds of cases are beginning to drop, according to DOH data.
That’s expected since air travel has dropped throughout March and come to a near halt after a mandatory 14-day quarantine went into effect for all travelers.
The DOH has also published maps showing where positive cases are according to census tracts. Health officials have previously warned that data is based on home addresses, and doesn’t give a clear indication of where exactly someone was infected.
It does provide some insight, though. Census tracts with a higher number of cases also tend to have residents with a higher socioeconomic status who travel, Anderson said.
Of the total cases to date, 184 have been related to travel, 20 have shown evidence of community spread and the source of 147 cases is still unknown.
There are more than 290,000 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and more than 7,800 deaths from the virus.
The state has yet to see widespread community transmission of the disease, Anderson said Friday.
At least three of the four county police departments have already begun cracking down on violators of county and state emergency orders.
Honolulu police and officers in Maui County have also been giving out warnings and citations to rule breakers.
Kauai police arrested a third man from the mainland Friday for violating the travel quarantine. The man refused to produce evidence that he had lodging on Kauai, according to a press release.
Gov. David Ige said Friday that anyone coming into the state without accommodations or proof of residence would be told to leave or face arrest.
The Hawaii National Guard has also been called on to assist the counties with containing the virus. Guard members will be helping to screen passengers getting off planes at airports.
None will be armed at the airport, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara said. The guard members may perform security functions in the state, but it’s not clear what that might entail or if they can assist police with law enforcement.
Civil Beat readership has more than doubled in the past nine months. That’s incredible growth for which we’re so grateful.
But for a small nonprofit newsroom that provides free content with no paywall, readership growth alone can’t sustain our journalism. The truth is that less than 1% of our monthly readers are financial supporters.
To remain a viable business model for local news, we need a higher percentage of readers-turned-donors.
Will you consider becoming a new donor today?