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E. Hawaii a ‘hot spot’ for new virus cases

  • Minneh Oyas fills a syringe with a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination event hosted by KTA at the Edith Kanakaole Multi-Purpose Stadium Friday in Hil. (KELSEY WALLING/Tribune-Herald)

The number of COVID-19 cases in East Hawaii is growing.

According to data from the state Department of Health, 41 new cases have been reported in Hilo over the past 14 days, and 25 new cases have been reported in Kailua-Kona during that same period.

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“We do have community spread going on both sides of the island,” Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said. But East Hawaii “seems to be the hot spot, with the majority (of cases) on the east side.”

Magno said some of the East Hawaii numbers are related to large gatherings — family gatherings and even some funerals — and there are families with multiple members who have tested positive.

“It’s families coming together,” he said.

Magno urged people to continue using preventative measures, even those who have been vaccinated against the virus.

“Preventative measures are going to be with us for a long time, and we’ve got to maintain it,” he said. “There are still people out there part of the vulnerable population. … It takes the entire community coming together to follow the preventive measures so we can get to the point where there’s limited risk.”

The DOH on Monday reported 10 new cases of COVID-19 on the Big Island and 102 new cases statewide.

According to data from the DOH, Hawaii County has a 1.5% test positivity rate, compared to a 1.8% positivity rate statewide.

As of Monday, more than 604,500 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Hawaii.

The DOH has ordered 855,670 doses and so far received 768,710.

According to the DOH, 27% of Hawaii’s population has received at least one dose.

In Hawaii County, 81,576 doses have been administered by the DOH and hospitals.

Some 26.9% of residents have received at least one dose, and 14.8% have completed a vaccine series.

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Two district COVID tests are scheduled today from 9 a.m.-noon at The Hub, located at the intersections of Highway 130 and Highway 132 in Pahoa, and 2-5 p.m. at Maku‘u Farmers Market, 15-2131 Keaau-Pahoa Road, Pahoa.

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

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