On Thursday, Hawaii documented 11 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections to 541 verified over the past month and a half.

Since the state documented its first case March 6, the proportion of Hawaii COVID-19 cases caught in the community has increased, although health department officials have not specified by how much when asked. Many of the first cases were travel related.

Dr. Sarah Park, the state epidemiologist, told Civil Beat there’s been a “steady dribble of community associated cases.”

A graphic provided by the Department of Health illustrates the “steady dribble” of community-associated COVID-19 cases in the islands.

Department of Health

“That’s what we’re monitoring,” Park said. “We hope the community cases will stop at some point. There’s no way to absolutely defend against this disease. The only way is to make sure our healthcare system is appropriately supported and they have the controls in place.”

Ongoing Cluster Investigations

The string of infections that began at Maui Memorial Medical Center now totals 41 coronavirus cases, the health department said Thursday.

Infections have been confirmed in 26 employees, 14 patients and one case is still under investigation.

An additional 200 health care workers and 93 patients who may have been exposed were tested and await results. A mainland team arrived this week to help implement infection control measures at the facility.

On Oahu, a second and third healthcare worker at Wahiawa General Hospital Nursing and Rehabilitation Center have tested positive for the coronavirus. The first was reported in March. The health department reports that dozen people who were thought to be potentially exposed have tested negatively for the virus.

At the nearby Wahiawa Center for Community Health, two other healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19. A third had been hospitalized but was likely exposed out of state and has not returned to work since coming home to Oahu, health department officials reported.

Hospitalizations

More than half of patients have not required hospitalization. As of Thursday, 374 of the people who have tested positive for the virus have qualified to be released from isolation.

Non-hospitalized patients meet the recovery criteria to be released from isolation if they have not had a fever for at least three days and at least a week has passed since the onset of their symptoms. All have been required to self-quarantine for two weeks to ensure the virus has passed.

Workers board up entrance of DFS Galleria Waikiki along Kalakaua Avenue during COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. April 13, 2020

Waikiki has been a ghost town during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Oahu’s COVID-19 infection count reached 373, up from 369 on Wednesday. DOH reports 284 of them have recovered, and 37 Oahu residents have required hospitalization.

Hawaii County and Kauai Counties have not reported new cases for a couple of days. The Big Island’s infection count remains at 41 and Kauai’s remains at 21. Thirty Hawaii County residents have recovered and been approved for release from isolation. Sixteen Kauai County residents have recovered and one patient has gone to the hospital.

The health department reports 45 of the verified COVID-19 cases have required hospitalization. Lt. Gov. Josh Green estimates more than 50 people have been hospitalized for the coronavirus.

Department of Health

Maui County reported 95 cases, including three new infections documented on Thursday. Forty-four Maui residents have recovered, and seven have been hospitalized, according to health department records.

To date, six Hawaii residents have been diagnosed outside of Hawaii and five others’ residence has not yet been determined by health officials.

More than 21,680 people have been tested for the virus to date.

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