“The dramatic increase in cases reported today was predicted based on recent trends since the weekend of July 4, which continue,” Health Director Dr Bruce Anderson said in a statement. hurry.
The state is seeing an increase in social gatherings large and small, including on beaches and in parks, in homes and in workplaces, he said.
Health officials have identified multiple household clusters due to house feasts, birthdays, Father’s Day and July 4, religious functions, and “co-workers sitting in extended meetings while removing clothes. masks for eating or drinking, ”as well as shopping, funerals, meeting for drinks and socializing in bars, the DOH said.
The daily tally includes 98 on Oahu, nine on Maui, and two on Kauai. The number of positive cases statewide is now 1,863.
“We have also recently seen an increase in cases associated with bars, gyms and other establishments where physical distancing and masking are not regularly practiced. Based on the data collected on cases through our investigations and contact tracing, we recommend that strategic actions be taken to further restrict activity associated with these cases, ”said Anderson. “Places where several clusters have been identified, such as bars and gymnasiums, will obviously be targeted.”
Dozens of COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized following numerous coronavirus outbreaks, including one in Kalihi among Pacific islanders living in large multigenerational households.
“The 109 cases are a serious sign that COVID-19 is on our way out, so we must act immediately,” Lt. Gov. Josh Green told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, adding that he was recommending Gov. David Ige immediately reduce the maximum size of gatherings to 10 and redouble efforts to require the wearing of a mask for anyone other than their immediate family. “This is the first rational decision to make. We need people not to attend any gathering for more than 10 periods – no exceptions. ”
At this point, schools “will certainly have to delay their opening out of respect for parents and teachers,” Green added until the health department has a “comprehensive health plan to keep them safe,” he added. “Until we see a full DOH plan, it’s hard to justify opening schools.”
He urges the DOH to hire 500 full-time contact tracers to identify and isolate any new cases of COVID-19 before the situation gets out of hand.
“Only with this kind of army of contact tracers will they be able to contain this push,” he said. “It’s disastrous because even though the cases have increased… soon it will be beyond the capacity of the DOH to track and test, then it will get out of hand and we’ll just react to it in a hospital setting.
Hospitals still have sufficient capacity, but “it’s going to get worrisome,” Green said.
The state has registered 965 cases in the past 30 days, up from 900 in the first 150 days, with around 10% of people requiring hospitalization, he said.
Hawaii officials have raised the possibility of reversing recent measures to open up the economy after the state saw an increase in daily cases over the past week – 64 new infections Sunday, 73 Saturday , 60 Friday and 55 Thursday.
Before Thursday, the daily record for new cases in Hawaii was 42 on July 11. On Monday and Tuesday, the number fell to 28 and 47, but only because state laboratories were closed on Sunday due to the threat from Hurricane Douglas.
The recent spike in coronavirus cases has prompted officials to consider reinstating the 14-day quarantine for inter-island travel, which was lifted on June 16.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell also calls for Oahu bars to be closed for three weeks; a mandate to wear a mask for indoors and outdoors; and limiting social gatherings to 10 people or less.
“It’s a horrible stage that nobody wanted to see in Hawaii. Maybe it’s time for another wake-up call in what we all do individually to prevent the spread of this virus even further, ”said Dr James Ireland, a community doctor. “At this point, we really can’t blame the tourists and the majority of businesses, who have made changes to protect us. It comes down to individual responsibility. “