Hawaii’s official COVID-19 infection count rose by six on Wednesday to a total of 592 cases.

Three new cases were identified on Oahu and another three on the Big Island.

Approximately three-quarters of the near-600 coronavirus patients verified by the Department of Health — 444 patients to be exact — have recovered to date.

Daily case counts reported by DOH fluctuate and lag, depending on when specimens were collected and where they were processed. The median delay time between a patient’s swab sample and the test result report date is three days, according to DOH. The confirmed cases reported each day are likely among patients who had symptoms that date back as many as 10 days prior. DOH receives electronic reports of positive cases and that’s when it initiates an investigation.

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Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is extending Oahu’s stay-at-home order until May 31. Denby Fawcett/Civil Beat/2020

On Tuesday, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell extended Oahu’s stay-at-home order until May 31, but said some parts of the order could be relaxed over the next month.

Relaxing restrictions largely depends on COVID-19 testing capabilities. City funds that were originally allocated to replenish sand at Ala Moana Beach Park will instead be spent on 10,000 test kits and to bolster testing at seven community health centers.

Many experts say  active surveillance, rapid diagnostic testing and quarantine will be necessary to keep the virus under control and reopen the economy.

As of Wednesday, 25,909 people in Hawaii had been tested for the virus. DOH Director Bruce Anderson says the Aloha State has had one of the highest testing rates per capita in the nation.

Hawaii appears to be flattening the curve rate of infection.  Department of Health

Still, testing in the U.S. has lagged and has had a ripple effect on Hawaii. And tests offer a sometimes unreliable point-in-time snapshot that are only part of the battle to slow the virus, according to state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park.

The infection count on Oahu rose by three cases to 388 to date on Wednesday. About 85% of patients, or 328 people, have recovered in Honolulu County. Hospitalizations on Oahu rose from 48 on Tuesday to 53 on Wednesday. Seven people on Oahu have died due to COVID-19 complications.

On Maui, the infection count remained at 110 for the second day in a row. Approximately 60 of those patients have recovered and been released from isolation. Two more people on Maui have been hospitalized, and a total of nine people are currently in the hospital on Maui for COVID-19 related care. Five people on Maui have died due to COVID-19 complications.

The largest proportion of hospitalizations for COVID-19 have been among people older than 60. 

On the Big Island, the total COVID-19 case count rose by three to 67. No one in Hawaii County has been hospitalized or died because of the coronavirus, the health department reports. As of Wednesday, 38 people on the Big Island had recovered.

Kauai’s COVID-19 case count remains at 21, where it has stayed for more than a week. Eighteen people on Kauai have been released from isolation and one has been hospitalized. No one has died in Kauai County to date.

Non-hospitalized patients meet the recovery criteria to cease self-quarantine 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.

State investigators do not necessarily continue to monitor those who have recovered.

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