COVID cases trend downward, but HMC still over capacity

Hilo Medical Center continues to operate beyond its capacity amid the novel coronavirus surge.

Thirty-five COVID-19 patients, 28 of whom are unvaccinated, were hospitalized as of Wednesday, HMC said in an update.

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Six COVID patents are in the hospital’s intensive care unit, with four on ventilators, and one is in the obstetrics unit. The remaining 28 are in HMC’s COVID unit.

Fourteen post-COVID patients remain hospitalized, 13 of whom are unvaccinated.

Altogether, there are 49 patients, or 35% of the hospital’s total patient count, affected by the virus, 11 of whom are on ventilators, the hospital said.

Meanwhile, daily case counts are trending lower than they were two weeks ago, but still remain high.

The state Department of Health on Wednesday reported 493 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Hawaii, including 89 new infections on the Big Island.

An average of 566 new cases have been reported daily Sept. 7-13.

Hawaii County now has a 7% test positivity rate, compared to a 6.7% positivity rate statewide.

In the past 14 days, 336 infections have been reported in Hilo, and 378 have been reported in Kailua-Kona.

During that same time period, 79 cases have been reported in Waimea; 60 in Kealakekua; 60 in the Captain Cook, Ocean View and Honaunau areas; 100 in Pahoa; and 96 in Keaau.

Eleven COVID-related deaths also were reported Wednesday.

According to the DOH, a Hawaii Island man, age 70-79, had underlying health conditions and was hospitalized.

A man and woman on Kauai, ages 70-79 and over 80, respectively, seven Oahu men, ranging in age from 30 to 79, and an Oahu woman over 80 also had underlying health conditions and were hospitalized.

According to data from the state Department of Education, 2,917 infections have been reported in Hawaii’s public schools since July 1.

There have been 45 cases reported at Hilo High School, the most at a Big Island school.

According to the DOH, 65.8% of Hawaii’s population has been fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, and 74.1% have received at least one dose.

In Hawaii County, 62% of residents are fully inoculated, while 74% have received at least one dose.

More than 70.1% of residents in Hilo, Papaikou, Pepeekeo, Honokaa and Hawi have been vaccinated.

A partial list of vaccination sites can be found online at bit.ly/BigIslandvaccines

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Testing is available from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. today at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo and noon to 2 p.m. at the Pahala Community Center in Pahala.

More testing opportunities can be found online at bit.ly/HawaiiCOVIDtesting.