Hawaii will no longer publish daily Covid tallies, as the state Department of Health announced it will transition to weekly reports.

The DOH will only update its Covid data dashboard every Wednesday, effective immediately, as infection numbers and hospitalizations gradually return to pre-omicron surge levels. DOH director Libby Char said the move reflects the state’s decision-making process, which has “always been based on trends, not single day counts.”

“There is greater focus now on weekly hospital admissions, weekly hospital occupancy, and weekly case counts when calculating the current community levels of COVID-19,” Char said in a press release Wednesday. “Our processes are evolving as the pandemic evolves.”

With a glut of free at-home Covid tests flooding American households, states have experienced trouble tracking infections as positive results from those often are not added to infection tallies.

This, along with the fact that the omicron variant infected a record number of people but resulted in proportionally fewer instances of severe disease, has pushed Hawaii to look beyond daily infection rates, state epidemiologist Sarah Kemble said in the press release.

“We are still monitoring case counts, but hospital metrics now play a larger role in our decisions,” Kemble said.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, which publishes more detailed numbers on those hospitalized with Covid, ICU beds occupied and ventilators in use, is following suit to only update on Wednesdays, the agency noted on their data dashboard.

Hawaii will join the majority of states in moving away from daily reporting, the DOH said, citing Johns Hopkins University data showing only nine states publish daily case counts.

Hawaii reported a seven-day average of 142 cases Wednesday for a total of 237,672 since the pandemic began in March 2020. The death toll remained at 1,354, with no new fatalities reported, and 57 people were hospitalized with Covid.

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