Ige talks return of Japanese visitors
Gov. David Ige said he’s expecting Japan Airlines to start service between Japan and Kona on Aug. 1.
Gridlock may delay COVID funding until fall – or longer
WASHINGTON — The U.S. is headed for “a lot of unnecessary loss of life,” the Biden administration says, if Congress fails to provide billions more dollars to brace for the pandemic’s next wave. Yet the quest for that money is in limbo, the latest victim of election-year gridlock that’s stalled or killed a host of Democratic priorities.
Pandemic-weary Americans plan for summer despite surge
HONOLULU — A high school prom in Hawaii where masked dancers weren’t allowed to touch. A return to virtual city council meetings in one Colorado town after the mayor and others tested positive following an in-person session. A reinstated mask mandate at skilled nursing facilities in Los Angeles County after 22 new outbreaks in a single week.
Roth encourages “mindful masking” as COVID numbers rise
Mayor Mitch Roth has called for “mindful masking” among Big Island residents as COVID cases increase.
Judge: Covid asylum restrictions to continue
NEW ORLEANS — Pandemic-related restrictions on migrants seeking asylum on the southern border must continue, a judge ruled Friday in an order blocking the Biden administration’s plan to lift them early next week.
CDC urges Pfizer booster for children ages 5 to 11
Kids ages 5 to 11 should get a booster dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, advisers to the U.S. government said Thursday.
Hilo man pleads guilty to defrauding federal pandemic relief programs
A Hilo man pleaded guilty in federal court today to attempting to fraudulently obtain federal COVID-19 relief funds.
China fights slump, sticks to costly ‘zero COVID’ policy
BEIJING — China’s leaders are struggling to reverse an economic slump without giving up anti-virus tactics that shut down Shanghai and other cities, adding to challenges for President Xi Jinping as he tries to extend his time in power.
Creeping COVID cases result in few schools mask mandates
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — U.S. COVID-19 cases are up, leading a smattering of school districts, particularly in the Northeast, to bring back mask mandates and recommendations for the first time since the omicron winter surge ended and as the country approaches 1 million deaths in the pandemic.
COVID cases continue to rise, more than 5,700 statewide last week
More than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Hawaii over the last week, rising by more than 1,000 from the previous week.
Even as COVID cases rise, mask mandates stay shelved
NEW YORK — An increase in COVID-19 infections around the U.S. has sent more cities into new high-risk categories that are supposed to trigger indoor mask wearing, but much of the country is stopping short of bringing back restrictions amid deep pandemic fatigue.
More than 4,000 new COVID cases in last week
COVID-19 cases continue to increase in Hawaii, with more than 4,000 new cases reported in the last week.
It’s not over: COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in US
The U.S. may be heading into another COVID-19 surge, with cases rising nationally and in most states after a two-month decline. Experts don’t know how high the mountain will grow, but they don’t expect a peak nearly as high as the last one, when the contagious omicron version of the coronavirus ripped through the population. Still, experts warn the coming wave will wash across the nation and push up hospitalizations in a growing number of states, especially those with low vaccination rates, in the coming weeks. Most cases are now being caused by a subvariant known as BA.2 that is thought to be 30% more contagious.
New COVID-19 variant now dominant in Hawaii
The Hawaii Department of Health confirmed Thursday that BA.2 is now the dominant COVID-19 variant throughout the state.
CDC extends travel mask mandate to May 3 as COVID-19 cases rise
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it is extending the nationwide mask requirement for airplanes and public transit for 15 days as it monitors an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
COVID, overdoses pushed US to highest death total in 2021
NEW YORK — 2021 was the deadliest year in U.S. history, and new data and research are offering more insights into how it got that bad.
Democratic, GOP Senate bargainers reach $10B COVID agreement
WASHINGTON — Senate bargainers reached agreement Monday on a slimmed-down $10 billion package for countering COVID-19 with treatments, vaccines and other steps, the top Democratic and Republican negotiators said, but ended up dropping all funding to help nations abroad combat the pandemic. The compromise drew quick support from President Joe Biden, who initially pushed for a $22.5 billion package. In a setback, he ended up settling for much less despite administration warnings that the government was running out of money to keep pace with the disease’s continued spread in the U.S.
UK hits record COVID-19 levels; nearly 5 million infected
LONDON — The prevalence of COVID-19 in the U.K. has reached record levels, with about 1 in 13 people estimated to be infected with the virus in the past week, according to the latest figures from Britain’s official statistics agency.
Number of COVID patients in US hospitals reaches record low
NORFOLK, Va. — COVID-19 hospitalization numbers have plunged to their lowest levels since the early days of the pandemic, offering a much needed break to health care workers and patients alike following the omicron surge.
Shanghai starts China’s biggest COVID-19 lockdown in 2 years
BEIJING (AP) — China began its most extensive coronavirus lockdown in two years Monday to conduct mass testing and control a growing outbreak in Shanghai as questions are raised about the economic toll of the nation’s “zero-COVID” strategy.