Hawaii sees 73 total coronavirus cases as state health officials begin including probable infections to counts - Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Hawaii Department of Health officials today reported 73 new confirmed and probable coronavirus infections statewide, bringing the state’s total since the start of the pandemic to 33,585 cases.

There was a sharp rise in the state’s total coronavirus case count after health officials today added in 1,638 probable infections that were recorded since the start of the pandemic. Future daily case counts will include probable cases, which may add an extra 10 to 20 cases a week, officials said.

The probable infections include people who never received a confirmatory test but are believed to have had the virus because of their known exposure and symptoms or because of a positive antigen test.

No new coronavirus-related fatalities were reported today so the statewide death toll remains at 492.

“People who test positive with an antigen test, but do not confirm infection by taking a PCR test are counted as probable cases,” said Acting State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble in a statement Tuesday. “Testing technology is evolving and we anticipate using more rapid antigen testing more often as time goes on.”

State health officials reported 58 new confirmed and 15 probable cases today. By island, Oahu had 50 new cases, Hawaii island had nine, Maui had seven, Molokai had four, Kauai had one, and there were five Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. It appears three previous cases were removed from the count today.

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The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll includes 380 fatalities on Oahu, 54 on Maui, 53 on Hawaii island, two on Kauai, and three Hawaii residents who died outside the state.

The U.S. coronavirus-related death toll today is more than 587,000 and the nationwide infection tally is about 33 million.

The total number of confirmed and probable coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 26,694 on Oahu, 4,375 on Maui, 2,834 in Hawaii County, 313 on Kauai, 115 on Lanai and 64 on Molokai. There are also 1,190 Hawaii residents who were diagnosed outside of the state.

Today’s probable infections added to the counts today include 795 on Maui, 714 on Oahu, 64 on Hawaii island, 15 on Molokai, three each on Kauai and Lanai, and 44 residents diagnosed outside the state.

The statistics released today reflect the new infection cases reported to the department on Monday.

Health officials also said today that of the state’s total infection count, 1,158 cases were considered to be active. Officials say they consider infections reported in the past 14 days to be a “proxy number for active cases.” The number of active cases in the state increased by 59 today.

By island, Oahu has 907 active cases, Maui has 144, the Big Island has 64, Kauai has 28, Molokai has 14 and Lanai has one.

Health officials counted 5,543 new COVID-19 test results in today’s tally, for a 1.32% statewide positivity rate. The state’s 7-day average positivity rate is 1.6%, according to the Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard.

The Hawaii COVID-19 vaccine summary said that 1,414,910 vaccine doses have been administered through state and federal distribution programs as of today.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 2,269 have required hospitalizations, with 29 new hospitalizations reported today.

Ten hospitalizations in the statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 2,259 hospitalizations within the state, 1,881 have been on Oahu, 240 on Maui, 123 on the Big Island, nine on Kauai, five on Lanai and one on Molokai.

According to the latest information from the department’s Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard, a total of 45 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of Tuesday, with nine in intensive care units and five on ventilators.

>> RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine can come with side effects, but those fully vaccinated have no regrets

Oahu moved into the less-restrictive Tier 3 of the city’s four-tier economic recovery plan on Feb. 25 after being in Tier 2 since Oct. 22. Tier 3 permits social and outdoor recreational gatherings of up to 10 people, and restaurants to seat 10 people at a table. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi on March 11 announced modifications to Tier 3, including allowing bars to reopen under the same conditions as restaurants and extending the curfew until midnight.

Honolulu will remain in Tier 3 of the city’s COVID-19 reopening framework until at least June 3, according to the mayor’s office.

The seven-day average case count for Oahu is 65 and the seven-day average positivity rate is 2.4%, state health officials said today.

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