Two bars in downtown Honolulu are now associated with as many as a dozen COVID-19 cases, officials with the Hawaii Department of Health said Monday.
In a press release, officials urged people who went to Brix & Bones on Hopaka Street and Arena 808 on Keeaumoku Street between July 16 and July 26 to contact their doctor for possible testing. Five people have been confirmed to be infected, and seven others are considered to have possible infections associated with visiting the bars.
“Given the conditions associated with this cluster, we’re concerned there may be more persons exposed than are or can be identified through our investigations,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said in a press release.
According to the department’s investigations, there was inconsistent use of face masks and physical distancing.
Also Monday, 28 new COVID-19 cases were verified by officials, a drop after four days of consistently high numbers. The Hawaii Joint COVID-19 Information Center said the lower count is likely because private laboratories did not conduct late work shifts and the DOH State Laboratories Division was closed on Sunday as Hawaii braced for Hurricane Douglas.
The state’s cumulative infection count has reached 1,711 since the pandemic began. About 10% of people officially diagnosed have required hospitalization. Thirty-nine people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19 related issues, all on Oahu except for three on Hawaii Island.
Due to the approach of Hurricane Douglas, the DOH State Laboratories Division did not conduct COVID-19 testing on Sunday.
The DOH State Laboratories Division has been testing specimens for one of the clinical labs because of a reagent supply shortage. The State Laboratories Division also regularly tests specimens from investigations and sentinel surveillance.