Maui woman is Hawaii’s 17th COVID-19-related death

State health officials on Sunday announced Hawaii’s 17th COVID-19-related death.

The victim was a Maui woman in her 60s with underlying medical conditions who had been hospitalized at Maui Memorial Medical Center since late February, Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson said. The woman’s infection occurred in April, though “COVID-19 is not believed to be the primary cause of death, due to her other serious illnesses, but may have been a contributing factor to her passing.”

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“Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of another valued member of our community. COVID-19 is still a critical issue for everyone in Hawaii. Please follow social distancing guidelines and current emergency rules to help protect our most vulnerable people,” said Anderson.

With the state’s infection curve flattening, and single digit new COVID-19 cases being reported in the past few days, Anderson and other state leaders caution the community must not let its guard down.

“With the pending reopening of businesses, we urge everyone to continue doing what they’ve been doing — stay at home, unless it’s necessary to go out, practice social distancing, wash your hands, and wear masks. For now, this is our new normal, in order to protect each other and prevent the spread of the disease,” the director said.

Meanwhile Sunday, state health officials announced two new cases of COVID-19. One was from Hawaii County and the other was from Oahu.

Though there were two new cases announced, the total number of cases statewide remained at 620 due to two duplicate cases identified over the weekend, the department said.

Hawaii County’s total case count as of noon Sunday was 74. Sixty-three of those people having been released from isolation. While one person has required hospitalized, no deaths from the disease have been reported on the Big Island.

Also Sunday, Kona Community Hospital announced it has resumed a limited number of elective outpatient services and procedures including imaging, respiratory therapy, rehabilitation services and surgery.

The procedures were halted March 19 in order for the hospital to plan and manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“In alignment with our emergency management plan to be prepared for a possible surge, we will also monitor hospital utilization such as PPE inventory supplies and use rates, as well as staffing availability,” said Dr. Scott Cassidy, the hospital’s COVID-19 Incident Commander.

Patients whose procedures were postponed will be contacted to schedule the procedures with the Kealakekua-based hospital.

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