Health officials reported 231 cases of COVID-19 and the death of an elderly Oahu man on Saturday, as the state conducted its first all-mail primary election and Honolulu police prepared to enforce restrictions aimed at curbing the virus.
Five of the cases were on Hawaii island and three were on Maui. The rest were on Oahu.
The state’s intensive care beds were at 56% capacity as of Friday, according to Lt. Gov. Josh Green, and health officials are warning that hospitals could be overrun by the end of the month if the virus continues to spread at its current rate.
Little information was released about the man who died, only that he was over 60 years old. The state is recording his death as the 31st death in the state, after the doctor of a woman who died Friday determined that — although she had COVID-19 — she died from something else.
“Unfortunately, with the dramatic surge in cases, we can expect more deaths in the coming weeks,” Health Director Bruce Anderson said in a release.
Hospitals on Oahu are preparing for a surge in patients by transferring patients and creating specialized units for coronavirus patients.
Health officials, meanwhile, are trying to track down patrons of a local strip club who may have been exposed to the virus last month.
The state health department initially said an employee of Club 939 had gone to work sick between July 23 and 25, but later said they had been incorrect about the location and they are trying to identify where the infected dancer worked.
“Given that people may be infectious before they recognize they have symptoms, anyone who visited Club 939 between the 23rd and 25th of last month should contact their healthcare provider, especially if they have symptoms, as they potentially could have been exposed to COVID-19,” State Epidemiologist Sarah Park said in a press release.
As of Saturday, all beaches, parks, and state park hiking trails on Oahu are closed.
The state has seen an average of 165 daily cases over the last week — a significant jump from a month ago when the moving 7-day average was 24.
About 10% of people in Hawaii with the virus have needed hospital care.
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