Governor Ige urges safety precautions as Hawaii records highest number of COVID-19 cases on record

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Friday the 13th was a particularly bleak day for Hawaii, as the state recorded its highest number of COVID-19 cases on record since the start of the pandemic. Governor David Ige called a press conference shortly after the Department of Health reported 1,167 coronavirus cases and one death, reiterating that the number is not entirely up to date.

Friday’s figures are a mix of daily cases and those that weren’t reported earlier in the week due to an error in the electronic lab notification system that the DOH encountered for about 20 hours on Monday 10. August, then again on Tuesday August 11.

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Due to the disruption, a delay in notification of cases has occurred. DOH officials assured on Wednesday that test results would be fully updated by the end of the work week.

But that doesn’t mean Hawaii isn’t seeing an alarming increase in the number of cases. Governor Ige took to Twitter to note that despite the lag, the average daily count over those three days affected by the data disruption is 729 per day.

“We continue to move in the wrong direction,” Ige said, urging residents to follow COVID safety protocols such as wearing a mask, avoiding crowds and washing their hands.

“Our behavior can save us. The actions we take every day can make a difference. We need to change our behavior and take action, ”continued Ige.

Still, the situation continues to worsen with more than 2,000 cases reported in three days.

Ige said he currently has no plans to reinstate restrictions, but said state, county and health department officials are closely monitoring trends in cases, but some officials with the State said more needed to be done to stop the current outbreak.

“The governor lost an opportunity at his press conference today to outline further consequences for the public if the numbers do not improve,” Speaker of the House Scott Saiki said after the press conference. “The governor should have been a little more decisive, he should have explained that if the numbers do not improve, the state will have to take measures to correct this situation.”

President Saiki said he hoped the governor would consider implementing a health card requirement in Hawaii that would require proof of vaccination to visit restaurants, gyms and stores.

“My feeling is that those who are vaccinated in Hawaii don’t want to be endangered by those who are not vaccinated,” Saiki continued. “So while we respect the right of individuals not to be vaccinated, they should not endanger others, they should not endanger children, other family members and their neighbors. “

Lt. Gov. Josh Green agreed, but added that large gatherings like the luau one should also be suspended.

“From my perspective, gatherings of this size are not in accordance with the governor’s order,” Green said. “If you really stick to the intent of the gathering rules, which are 10 people inside and up to 25 outside, there shouldn’t be large gatherings. Heck we tell our kids not to be together and spread COVID, the least we can do is not have big gatherings and luaus and everything else you have right now. “

“Just relax on this sort of thing, don’t have these kinds of gatherings on Labor Day, and the number of cases will go down,” Green added.

Hawaii Department of Health Director Dr Libby Char was also in attendance.

“Our hospitals are full and we are in danger. With over 7,000 active cases in Hawaii, this virus impacts every facet of our lives, including our ability to respond, ”explained Dr Char, noting the decrease in the number of intensive care unit beds. (ICU) left available at local state hospitals.

Char went on to explain that the Delta variant causes a faster and more aggressive spread of COVID-19, with symptoms appearing earlier in those affected.

Find more COVID-19 news: cases, vaccinations on our Coronavirus News page

“Please be part of the solution,” concluded Ige.

Ige said the state is considering adjusting travel safely, but did not specify what would trigger a change.

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Susan W. Lloyd