An elderly Honolulu man passed away from COVID-19 on Friday, the 18th life claimed by the coronavirus since it was detected in Hawai‘i.
It had been nearly two months since the state last saw someone succumb to COVID-19, with the last reported death reported on May 3.
“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 handwashing,” Governor Ige said in a statement. “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.”
While Hawai‘i has one of the best statistical records for COVID-19 management in the country, a survey released by the Department of Health found state residents feel less threatened by the virus and follow social distancing guidelines less frequently than ever before.
“We cannot interpret the reopening of businesses, restaurants, parks, and other places, as a license to let our guards down,” Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson said in a statement. “It is more important than ever to adhere to prevention measures we know work.”