On Friday, 12 more cases of COVID-19 were reported by Hawaii health officials, taking the state’s infection count to 553.

The dozen new cases were among more than 600 test results announced within the past 24 hours, according to Lt. Gov. Josh Green. One was a visitor, and the 11 others were Hawaii residents. One of the cases was a minor.

Approximately 70% of patients — 390 people — monitored by the Hawaii Department of Health have qualified to be released from isolation, signaling their recovery.

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.

Digital sign warns everyone to ‘Wash your hands’ at the Kalakaua Avenue and Monsarrat split during COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

The string of infections that are believed to be associated with an outbreak that began at Maui Memorial Medical Center now total 42 coronavirus cases, including 27 staff and 15 patients, Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson said Friday during a press conference.

“This outbreak appears to be the result of a single person who went to work while ill and continued to work while they were ill,” Anderson said. “Stay home if you’re sick, that’s probably the most important thing you can do.”

Nearly 300 people who were potentially exposed in connection to the Maui outbreak have been tested and await results.

Additionally, one homeless individual had been hospitalized at MMMC and was discharged with COVID-19 like symptoms to an apartment complex for homeless people. This individual and an asymptomatic roommate have been relocated to an isolation facility.

Other case investigations are ongoing.

On Oahu, a second and third healthcare worker at Wahiawa General Hospital Nursing and Rehabilitation Center tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday.  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.

Another web of COVID-19 cases on the Big Island continues to affect about 14 friends and colleagues of one Kona McDonald’s employee.

Hospital Bed And Ventilator Use

Health officials say 48 of the COVID-19 patients they have verified have required hospitalization.

The most COVID-19 cases in Hawaii have been among people 40 to 59 years old. About 19% of patients older than 60 have been hospitalized. Department of Health

Green said Friday in about half of Hawaii’s hospital beds and intensive care unit beds are in use.

Only 15% of the state’s ventilators are in use.

“We have the capacity to keep our kupuna alive,” Green said in an Instagram video update.

COVID-19 Cases By County

Honolulu County continues to have the most active COVID-19 cases. Oahu’s coronavirus infection count reached 380 on Friday, up from 373 on Thursday. DOH reports 292 of them have recovered to be released from isolation, and 40 Oahu residents have been hospitalized. Six Oahu residents have died.

Hawaii County reported three new cases, taking its infection count to 44 to date, but 30 people have been released from isolation. No Hawaii County residents have been hospitalized.

Kauai’s infection count remained at 21 coronavirus cases, and 16 patients have been released from isolation. Only one Kauai resident has been hospitalized.

Maui County, which includes the islands of Molokai and Lanai, has reported 102 cases, up from 95 on Thursday. Approximately half of the patients have been released from isolation, seven have been hospitalized, and three Maui County residents have died due to COVID-19 related issues.

County infection tallies are updated as patients’ residences are confirmed, and may differ from the number of new cases announced by the department each day.

To date, six Hawaii residents have been diagnosed outside of the islands.

Hawaii reported its first coronavirus case on March 6. As of Friday, 22,296 people had been tested for the virus.

There have been no deaths reported since April 11.

Anderson said closing Hawaii’s sea ports and limiting air travel have been effective in preventing the introduction and spread of the virus. But he predicts it will be a long time until large group gatherings will be allowed.

“We’re very vulnerable to having the disease reintroduced,” he said. “We’re going to have to keep social distancing in effect. Schools are going to be operating very differently in the past. I think our lives are going to change forever because of what we’ve gone through here.”

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