Several variables could be behind differing totals of COVID-19 cases

The number of COVID-19 cases reported daily by the county Civil Defense agency has often differed from the number reported each day by the state Department of Health.

On Wednesday, for example, a Civil Defense alert issued just after 8 a.m. noted the total number of positive tests for Hawaii Island was 27, from which 21 had been cleared by the DOH and the remaining six quarantined at home.

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As of noon Wednesday, however, the DOH reported 26 total cases in Hawaii County, nine of which have been released from isolation.

On Tuesday, Civil Defense reported 26 cases on Hawaii Island, and on Monday, 25, while the DOH reported 23 both days.

Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said the county receives its numbers from the DOH district health officer on the Big Island.

A number of variables might add to the discrepancy, including multiple private labs that are reporting positive cases, and timing, he said.

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Magno said he is concerned about ensuring “the numbers we put out are accurate,” but reiterated that Civil Defense is getting its numbers from DOH on the island, “officials that are dealing directly with the people that are positive in isolation and released.”

The state’s COVID-19 Joint Information Center said it was aware of and is looking into the discrepancies, and “hoping to have this corrected soon.”

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