A Maui woman with coronavirus has died, bringing the statewide virus death toll up to 17, according to the state Department of Health.

“Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of another valued member of our community,” DOH director Bruce Anderson said in a press release. “COVID-19 is still a critical issue for everyone in Hawai‘i. Please follow social distancing guidelines and current emergency rules to help protect our most vulnerable people.”

The woman who died was over the age of 60. She had been hospitalized at Maui Memorial Medical Center in February for other medical issues and got infected in mid-April. The hospital is the site of a cluster of cases affecting both staff and patients.

“COVID-19 is not believed to be the primary cause of death, due to her other serious illnesses, but may have been a contributing factor to her passing,” the Department of Health said in a press release.

As of Sunday, six people have died from the virus in Maui County and another 11 died on Oahu.

About 100 protesters gathered at the Hawaii State Capitol on Friday to oppose government stay-at-home orders and other restrictions. Three people were arrested. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

But the statewide coronavirus case count remained steady at 620 Sunday after the state identified and removed two duplicate cases on Maui and in Honolulu.

That brought Maui County’s case count down to 116. One new confirmed case was on Oahu, so its case count remained at 400.

Hawaii County reported one new confirmed case, bringing its total up to 74. Kauai County’s case count has remained steady at 21 for a couple of weeks.

Seventy-three cases have required hospitalization and 544 have been released from isolation.

In an effort to slow the pandemic’s spread, Hawaii is still under a stay-at-home order through the end of May but some restrictions have been lifted.

Gov. David Ige says that people can now run, jog or walk on beaches as long as they maintain social distancing. The governor also allowed florists to open May 1, after changing his mind about it.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is allowing people to exercise in parks, although he doesn’t want them to congregate, play team sports or use any playground equipment. The city also opened its botanical gardens.

The forced shutdowns of numerous industries have spawned widespread unemployment with nearly a quarter of a million people submitting applications for unemployment insurance and others still struggling to apply.

Critics of the lockdown held a protest in Honolulu Friday. Kevin McDonald, chairman of the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board, was among three protesters who were arrested.

He said people were at the protest for various reasons: some thought the whole coronavirus pandemic is a hoax; others opposed government mandates; some wanted to go back to work and others wanted more government relief for people suffering from the economic fallout.

McDonald said he was there, waving an American flag and wearing an Uncle Sam top hat, in support of the latter.

“I believe that there should be rent and mortgage forgiveness during the time that we are supposed to be closed,” he said. He supports a phased re-opening of the economy and says he was wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.

The 53-year-old entrepreneur was arrested and cited for violating emergency rules after he refused two officers’ requests to leave. He posted $250 bail right away.

“I still believe that my civil rights have been violated,” he said.

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