Increase in COVID hospitalizations prompts reminder from state for public to be vigilant
The Hawai‘i Department of Health is reminding the public to be vigilant because of a steady increase in reported cases of COVID-19 since June through the islands.
As of Aug. 7, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that COVID hospital admissions for the City and County of Honolulu and Maui County increased from low to medium level. For the week ending July 29, the hospitalization rate for Honolulu and Maui counties increased to 10.4 new COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 people.
The new cases bumped the state’s hospitalization levels from low to medium level. The recent uptick in COVID hospitalizations also parallels rates nationwide.
The DOH is reminding members of the public to do their part to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, especially with the recent devastating wildfires on Maui that have resulted in an influx of hospitalizations on Maui and Oʻahu.
“The sudden increase in hospitalizations from the tragic wildfires highlights the need to preserve hospital capacity and prevent hospitalizations due to COVID-19,” said state Health Director Dr. Kenneth Fink. “While most people will have mild illness, taking personal steps can help reduce the risk of severe infection and further spread of the virus.”
Scores of displaced residents and visitors are being housed at shelters operated by the American Red Cross and faith-based organizations on Maui. The Hawai‘i Convention Center in Honolulu is also preparing to accommodate hundreds of displaced residents and visitors.
With so many people congregating, masking and physical distancing, to the extent possible and especially if symptomatic, should be emphasized.
With hospital admission rates in Hawai‘i on the rise, the state Health Department recommends the following:
- If you or a family member are at high risk for severe illness, wear a high-quality mask or respirator in public indoor spaces.
- If you plan to visit someone who is at high risk of getting very sick, consider self-testing to detect infection before contact and consider wearing a mask when indoors with them.
The increase in cases and hospital admissions also serves as a reminder for everyone to make sure they are up to date with their COVID vaccinations. You can find locations that offer vaccinations by clicking here.
Additionally, masking continues to be an effective way to protect yourself and others.
If you are exposed to COVID, follow the CDC recommendations for exposure. If you develop symptoms or test positive, adhere to the recommended isolation procedures.
If you have COVID and are susceptible to severe illness, especially people 50 and older, those with certain medical conditions and the immunocompromised, discuss treatment with your health care provider to reduce your risk of hospitalization and death.
For more information, click here.