Virus cases identified in Hilo, South Kona

  • ANDERSON

Four new cases of COVID-19 were reported Thursday — three on the Big Island, the other on Maui.

State Health Director Bruce Anderson said two of the Big Island cases are “family members, people who had been living with a confirmed case.”

ADVERTISING


He added recent cases were identified in Hilo and South Kona.

“I think the important thing to remember is that we are seeing sporadic cases in the state, which are probably associated with some community spread, and, fortunately, most of those are associated with known clusters and we can identify pretty much … who infected whom in these situations,” Anderson said.

He said active cases in Hawaii are “limited here and, we believe, very much under control.”

“We haven’t seen any situations develop like they have on the mainland, where you have hundreds of cases springing up in a community and (medical professionals) simply are overwhelmed with the number of cases and aren’t able to do the contact tracing … that is necessary,” he said.

“Virtually all of the cases are quarantined and are in isolation, and we’re tracking their condition at least three times a day.”

Anderson said the capacity for COVID-19 testing in Hawaii increased dramatically during the past month.

“The number of testing laboratories has gone from five to 11 … which includes our state laboratory. And this includes testing laboratories in all four counties,” he said.

According to DOH, as of Monday, Hawaii has more than 38,300 tests on hand for COVID-19 testing and is performing an average of 690 tests each day, with results usually available the same day or the next day. The maximum turnaround time is three days.

The number of staff trained to perform the tests has also doubled, jumping from 68 to 135 within the past month.

ADVERTISING


“The compilation of data provides a realistic snapshot of the state’s overall testing capacity,” said Dr. Edward Desmond, state Laboratories Division administrator, who compiled the data. “If necessary, the state has the capability to cumulatively ramp up to 3,620 tests a day, and this number is expected to significantly increase over the next three weeks.”

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.