The number of COVID-19 cases statewide reported Wednesday hit another single-day record with 109.
Hawai‘i Department of Health anticipated the increase due to lab closures on Sunday and Monday after Hurricane Douglas. A total of 5,160 tests were processed between Saturday and today. Normally, about 1,000-2,000 tests are processed each day.
Cases were identified on O‘ahu with 98, Maui with nine and Kaua‘i with two.
“The dramatic increase in cases reported today was anticipated based on recent trends since the Fourth of July weekend, which continue,” said State Health Director Bruce Anderson. “We are seeing an increase in small and large social gatherings, including gatherings on beaches and in our parks, at homes and in workplaces.”
Anderson said the state is also seeing an increase in cases associated with bars, gyms and other establishments where physical distancing and wearing face masks are not regularly practiced.
“Based on data collected on cases through our investigations and contact tracing, we are recommending that strategic actions be taken to further restrict activities associated with these cases,” said Anderson.
Venues where multiple clusters have been identified, such as in bars and gyms, will obviously be targeted, Anderson added.
Multiple household and other clusters have been associated with social interactions such as house parties, beach parties/gatherings, birthday parties, father’s day and 4th of July gatherings, religious functions, co-workers sitting in prolonged meetings while removing masks to eat or drink, shopping, funeral events, meeting for drinks and socializing at bars.
Anderson said the community and businesses have relaxed rules where people have stopped wearing masks and don’t practice social distancing.
“We all have to take personal responsibility to protect ourselves as well as others,” he said. “Masking and physical distancing not only protect us but also those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19. As we anticipate schools to re-open, our children are going to need to look to adults to set an example and we can’t let out guards down right now.”