Hawaii reported 472 new coronavirus cases statewide Wednesday, but that doesn’t reflect the total number of cases.
Technical problems plagued the state on Monday and Tuesday, leading to a reporting delay of an “unknown number of cases,” said Brooks Baehr, spokesman for the Department of Health.
It’s the second time in two weeks that the state’s daily case number has been an undercount. During the last week of July, lab reporting delays culminated in 622 new infections on July 30, which was the highest number of the pandemic at the time.
Hawaii set a new single-day record on Aug. 5 at 655 cases. Over the past month, the state has experienced a sharp uptick in cases driven by the highly contagious delta variant.
The results missing from this week’s count are expected to be reported on Thursday and Friday.
“The electronic laboratory reporting system was interrupted for approximately 20 hours on Monday, August 10 and Tuesday, August 11,” Baehr explained in an email. He stressed the importance of looking at multi-day trends rather than single-day case counts.
“Case trends are much more important than single day case counts,” he said. “Unfortunately we are trending in the wrong direction.”
The new cases reported Wednesday included 298 on Oahu, 79 on the Big Island, 61 on Maui, 17 on Kauai, five on Molokai and 12 residents who were diagnosed out of state.
On Wednesday, the health department also announced the deaths of two women due to COVID-19. Both had been hospitalized and had underlying conditions. One was between the ages of 40 and 49. The second was at least 80 years old.
In all, Hawaii has reported 47,848 cases, with 545 deaths.
More than 68% of Hawaii’s population have initiated vaccinations against coronavirus, with 61% fully vaccinated.
The state also announced that two tourists from the mainland were arrested Sunday for allegedly falsifying vaccination cards to travel to Hawaii. They could each face up to a year imprisonment or a fine up to $5,000.
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