State health officials reported 144 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, along with the death of a Honolulu man.
The state released little information about the 27th person in Hawaii to die from the virus, only that he was between 40 and 59 years old and had other health problems.
“Every death reminds us how very serious this disease is,” Health Director Bruce Anderson said in a press release. “Coronavirus can strike down anyone of any age. We can all protect each other and prevent more hospitalizations and deaths.”
Five of the cases reported on Tuesday were on Hawaii island and the rest were on Oahu.
The health department is investigating a number of clusters, including 71 cases traced to funerals, six cases from a yoga class, and a dozen cases linked to a birthday party.
State lawmakers have been pushing for more information about clusters and how the virus is spreading. That information is key, they say, to helping people weigh the risks of daily activities.
Anderson said on Monday that the virus is now widespread on Oahu.
Historically, about 1% to 2% of tests conducted in Hawaii have come back with positive COVID-19 results. But in recent days that has inched to 4.8%.
“Any time it gets over 5%, there’s reason for concern,” Anderson said on Monday. “Some of the states where they’re having large outbreaks have high rates of over 10%. And, obviously, we don’t want to be there.”