County expects Thursday will have highest daily case count since the start of the pandemic

Tomorrow may have the highest number of COVID cases in a single day on the Big Island since the beginning of the pandemic, county officials believe.

Although final numbers from the state Department of Health will not be available until Thursday, early estimates indicate the potential for more than 220 cases to be reported, according to a county news release.


So far, the highest official tally of new cases in a single day on the island is 206, a record set during the delta surge earlier this year.

Compared to the delta surge, however, hospitalization rates are stable. Currently, only nine COVID patients are hospitalized on the Big Island, compared to 16 patients hospitalized during the height of the delta surge. Of those nine patients, four are in the ICU and one is on a ventilator.

Mayor Mitch Roth said in a statement that his administration is “ready to pivot if necessary” but has no current plans on increasing COVID restrictions.

“Although the rise in numbers is certainly nothing to discount, we are comforted by the community’s response thus far and are confident that folks will continue to do the right thing to keep each other safe,” Roth said in the statement. “Throughout the pandemic, we have worked hard to maintain a balanced approach that considers the working class, the kupuna, and the keiki to find equitable solutions for all. We understand that some folks would like to see fewer restrictions, and others would like to see more, but at this time, we believe that we have figured out what works, and we are committed to sticking to that. We know that we won’t make everyone happy. Still, we will continue to operate with the best interest of the county and its residents in mind as we navigate forward using science, data, and aloha as justification of our actions and policies.”

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