Big island COVID tally tops 9,700

  • COURTESY PHOTO Human Resources Director Ryker Wada

  • KAWAKAMI

Big Island COVID tally tops 9,700

The Big Island Friday reported 68 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the island’s tally to 9,737.

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The Big Island cases were among 403 new cases of COVID-19 reported across the state Friday that increased Hawaii’s case total to 77,369.

According to the DOH, 6,777 new cases have been reported in Hawaii in the past 14 days, including 1,023 on the Big Island. There has been an average of 392.9 new cases the past seven days statewide with the Big Island averaging 61.7 cases per day.

Hawaii County Friday had a seven-day test positivity rate of 5.7%, above the state’s 4.8% positivity rate.

On Friday, 25 people with COVID-19 were remained hospitalized on the Big Island. All of the island’s 24 ICU beds were in use with three overflow beds utilized. Five of the beds occupied by COVID-positive patients. Three of those five COVID patients were on ventilators.

Nine new coronavirus-related deaths were reported Friday, including three on the Big Island. Of the 747 deaths confirmed and reported by the state to date, 565 were on Oahu, 83 were in Maui County, 84 were on the Big Island and eight on Kauai. Five deaths were among residents outside the state.

Need a test?

Hawaii County’s Community Testing Program has scheduled clinics at the following times and sites:

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Afook-Chinen Civic Center

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at Hilo Lanes. Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J vaccines available by Premier Medical Group

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Kona International Market. Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J vaccines available by Premier Medical Group

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Waimea District Park. Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J vaccines available by KTA

Nearly 90% of state employees are vaccinated

Nearly 90% of Hawaii’s executive branch employees were vaccinated for COVID-19 as of the start of last week, the state Department of Human Resources Development on Friday announced.

Some 88.8% of the state’s executive branch employees were vaccinated for COVID-19 as of Sept. 13, according to the department. Another 2.6% were partially vaccinated and 8.6% not vaccinated.

The Department of Public Safety continues to have the lowest rate of vaccination with 79.4% of employees vaccinated as of Sept. 13, followed by the Department of Transportation at 84.9% and Department of Human Services at 87.8%.

The Department of Human Resources Development reported the highest rate of vaccination at 100%.

“The State of Hawaii has continued its upward trend, increasing the executive branch’s fully vaccinated rate by more than 3% in the last month. Additionally, more employees have chosen to initiate vaccinations, moving us towards a more fully vaccinated and safer population,” said DHRD Director Ryker Wada. “I remain optimistic that the state will continue to increase its vaccination rate in the coming months.”

The state also announced that figures released in August regarding vaccination rates were incorrect. As of Aug. 16, ·5.6 % of the state’s executive branch employees were vaccinated for COVID-19, not 87.6% as previously reported. Another 5.1% were partially vaccinated (previously reported at 4.9%) and 9.3% were not vaccinated (previously reported at 7.6%).

The rates do not include the University of Hawaii and the Department of Education.

To date, three executive branch employees have been discharged due to noncompliance with the vaccination/testing requirements.

Kauai to change COVID reopening plan to handle Delta variant

LIHUE — Kauai is planning to revise its coronavirus restriction structure as the delta variant continues to impact the county.

Mayor Derek Kawakami said officials will continue to enforce strict COVID-19 safety measures even as the state approaches a vaccination rate of 70%, a milestone earlier set for loosening rules under a tiered reopening plan, The Garden Island reported Friday.

“Throughout this pandemic, we have adjusted to the changing realities of COVID-19, and we continually work to keep our community safe while doing everything we can to keep our businesses and activities open,” Kawakami said.

Changes will need to be approved by Hawaii Gov. David Ige.

The current tier system would have allowed for all restrictions, including business capacity rules and gathering sizes, to be dropped when the population was 70% vaccinated.

About 67% of state residents and 65% of Kauai residents are fully vaccinated.

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“As we have seen the effects of the delta variant, and as we approach that 70% benchmark, we know that continued safety measures will be necessary to contain the spread of disease on our island,” Kawakami said.

The county recently instituted a citation system for emergency rule violations that includes fines of $250 for individuals and $500 for businesses or events.

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