Department of Health reports 76 new COVID-19 cases on Big Island; 365 new cases statewide

The state Department of Health on Monday reported 76 new COVID-19 cases on the Big Island and 365 new cases statewide amid an ongoing surge.

According to Hawaii County Civil Defense, the DOH was monitoring 685 cases, and 16 people were hospitalized as of Monday.

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The DOH reported 99 new cases on the Big Island Sunday.

Hawaii County has a 7.5% test positivity rate, the highest in the state, compared to a 6% positivity rate statewide.

Also:

• Testing and vaccination clinics will be held today from 9 a.m.-noon at Cooper Center in Volcano, 2-6 p.m. at J. Hara Store in Kurtistown, and 3-6 p.m. at the Kona Community Aquatic Center.

• Bay Clinic administrators believe it will take more than information to sway those hesitant to get vaccinated.

“We have to do more to encourage Hawaii Island residents to get the vaccine, and perhaps a monetary incentive through the use of gift cards might do it for some,” CEO Kimo Alameda said.

Bay Clinic will offer $50 gift cards for those receiving their first dose and $50 for the second dose, or $100 to those who receive the single-shot Johnson &Johnson vaccine. At the visit, patients will get a mystery gift bag with gift cards from a selection of more than 20 local supermarkets, restaurants and other food eateries, as well as gas cards.

Bay Clinic offers vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson &Johnson at its COVID Clinic, 305 Wailuki Dr., and at many outreach events.

Appointments are available 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 965-3047 to schedule. Walk-ins also are accepted.

• Hilo Medical Center has updated its visitor policy in light of the ongoing COVID-19 surge.

A no-visitor policy has been implemented for the Emergency Department until further notice, with the exception of pediatric patients under 18 and highly critical end-of-life situations, HMC spokeswoman Elena Cabatu said.

However, Cabatu said those visiting patients admitted to the hospital must now wear masks at all times. Outside food and beverages are not allowed, and eating and drinking in patient rooms is not allowed to ensure masks are worn consistently.

Visiting hours for admitted patients remain 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Two visitors currently are allowed.

However, Cabatu said effective Aug. 9, visitors will have to show proof of vaccination with a vaccine card or a certificate that can be printed out from one’s VAMS account.

Exemptions will be allowed for those accompanying a minor, those there for translation services, or caregivers.

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Additionally, unvaccinated partners can be present at a birth if they provide a negative test result taken within 72 hours, in the case of a scheduled birth. Rapid tests also will be provided to those partners in the case of an unscheduled or emergency birth.

Email Stephanie Salmons at ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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