Oahu saw another record number of new COVID-19 cases on Friday, as residents brace themselves for a new wave of restrictions aimed at halting the spread of the virus.
Health officials reported 201 new cases and two deaths on Friday. One case was on Maui, the rest were on Oahu.
Officials released limited information about the 30th and 31st people in the state to die from the virus. One was a man on Oahu between 40 and 59 years old, who died at home unattended. His family told the health department that the man had not sought medical care for his symptoms. The other, also a man on Oahu, was a senior citizen who died in a hospital. Both men had other health problems.
About 10% of people in Hawaii with the virus have needed hospital care. If cases continue to grow at the current rate, hospitals could be overwhelmed by the end of August, Health Director Bruce Anderson said Thursday. As of Thursday, 117 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Hawaii – 115 of them on Oahu – and 54% of ICU beds are filled, Anderson said.
“Unfortunately, projections for increases in COVID cases and ICU bed utilization are being realized,” Anderson said in a written statement Friday.
“Given the incubation period of COVID can be as long as 14 days, we are seeing the result of exposures a week or two ago and it will probably be at least a couple of weeks before we can expect to see the benefit of the restrictions on these activities and events on Oahu,” Anderson said in Friday’s press release. “We all need to act now. Avoid crowded places, closed spaces and close contact. Your life and the lives of your loved ones and friends will depend on it.”
The percentage of people testing positive has been rising steadily.
Historically, about 1% to 2% of tests conducted in Hawaii have come back with positive COVID-19 results. On Tuesday that figure was 7.2%.
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