Ige: ‘An alarming increase’ in new COVID-19 cases

Gov. David Ige today said the state is experiencing a “big surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.”

“There are 797 cases today — and there are no backlogged cases,” Ige said in a press conference this morning. “On Dec. 7, the seven-day average was 101 cases a day. Now, just 10 days later, our seven-day average is 297 cases a day. On Dec. 7, our positivity rate was 1.4%. Today, just 10 days later, our positivity rate is 4.2%, and just yesterday, our positivity rate was at 3.4%.


“So we are seeing an alarming increase in the number of cases.”

State Health Director Dr. Libby Char called the surge “a mix of delta variant as well as omicron.”

“We’re seeing more and more omicron variant,” Char said. “… Specimens collected up to Dec. 4, 2% of our state cases are omicron variant. They’re all on Oahu, and if you just use the Oahu cases as a denominator, then we’re at 5% on Oahu, but we know that that’s going up.”

Char said as of Thursday night, there were 31 cases of omicron variant and there are another “17 cases that look very suspicious for omicron that we’re performing full genetic sequencing on.”

Char said the cases can’t be pinned down to any single thing. She noted a number of factors — holiday gatherings, people traveling more and local residents returning from travel to places with significant rates of COVID-19 cases.

In Hawaii County, 29 new COVID-19 cases were reported today, with 213 active novel coronavirus cases and four people hospitalized.

The test positivity rate in Hawaii County is 2.4%, with a seven-day average of new cases at 17, but trending upward.

This story will be updated. See Saturday’s Hawaii Tribune-Herald for a complete story.

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