The Hawaii Department of Health Friday reported the death of an elderly Honolulu man from COVID-19, the first virus-related death in the state since May 3.
A total of 18 residents have died from the virus since March.
“This is the worst way to emphasize the need for all of us to continue safe practices such as physical distancing, wearing of masks, and hand washing,” said Governor David Ige. “We must protect our kupuna and others who are at high risk, by practicing personal responsibility, especially around others outside our own immediate family or household.”
In a press release, Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson suggested that many residents are becoming lax in their practices and attitudes toward the infection.
In a recent DOH survey, the number of people who considered the virus a very serious health concern, fell from 73% to 54% in less than two months.
More alarming, according to the survey, are changing attitudes on preventive behaviors — 42% of survey respondents said they are social distancing all of the time and that’s steady compared to a previous survey. However, fewer residents are following recommendations “most of the time” or “part of the time.”
“We cannot interpret the reopening of businesses, restaurants, parks and other places, as a license to let our guards down,” Anderson said. “It is more important than ever to adhere to prevention measures we know work.”
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