Most of the 29 new COVID-19 infections reported Thursday on the Big Island were in younger individuals, according to Mayor Harry Kim.
“People better be aware, the vast majority of (those new cases) are in the ages of 40 and below,” he said. “… People got to realize, these are the people that go out and mingle. We’re talking about close contact, talking about violation of masking and (other prevention policies).”
According to a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published earlier this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, incidents of COVID-19 were highest among older adults early in the pandemic, but from June to August, cases were higher in people ages 20-29.
Nationwide, the median age of COVID-19 cases declined from age 46 in May to 37 and 38 in July and August, respectively.
Younger adults likely contribute to the community spread of the virus, the report states.
Of the new 29 cases reported Thursday, Kim said five were in children younger than 8: two 3-year-olds, and keiki ages 5, 7 and 8.
“The older and the younger (populations) depend on us to care for them, and we’re not doing a good job,” Kim said.
While the county tries to address the island’s COVID-19 cases as best it can, Kim said everything comes down to people obeying social distancing, masking and gathering policies.
“… (If) we are following masking, distancing and gathering rules or policies, we can control this in a month,” he said.
Kim said most of the cases reported Thursday were tested in Kailua-Kona and Waikoloa.
Meanwhile in East Hawaii, Life Care Center of Hilo reported the deaths of three more residents this week, according to an update posted Thursday on its website.
There have been eight COVID-related deaths at the facility.
“Our hearts remain broken as we mourn with their loved ones,” wrote Life Care Center of Hilo Executive Director Mark Mann in the update.
Life Care has reported 55 cases in its residents since late September. Of those, 27 are at the facility, one resident is receiving treatment at Hilo Medical Center, two have been discharged and 17 have recovered.
Seventeen employees also have tested positive, 13 of whom have fully recovered.
The state Department of Health on Thursday reported 102 new cases of COVID-19 statewide, including 52 on Oahu.
Lanai, which had remained COVID-free until this week, reported 16 new cases Thursday, bringing the total number of cases there to 20.
“We are working with Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino, Sen. (J. Kalani) English and Rep. (Lynn) DeCoite to aggressively respond,” said Gov. David Ige during a news briefing. “DOH is sending a testing team (Thursday), and there will be community testing on Saturday. … We are going to continue working with everyone to identify, isolate and treat those who are infected.”
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