The Latest: 2 Deaths, 114 New Cases; One Death At Hilo Medical; Green In Quarantine Says He's Fine

Sep 13, 2020

Updated: 9/13/2020, 12:010 p.m.

The state Department of Health today reported 2 more deaths and 114 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the state death toll to 99 and the total number of cases to 10,700. 

There have now been 9,654 cases on Oahu, 587 on Hawaii Island, 375 for Maui County, and 58 on Kauai. Twenty-six residents were diagnosed out of state. One case each was removed from Oahu and Hawaii Island due to updated information.

Although new cases remain in the triple digits, the numbers have been falling in the past week. Hospitalizations, however, are still high. 

A two-week extension of Oahu's stay-at-home, work-at-home order runs through Sept. 23 with solo activity allowed at beaches, parks and trails. 

On Saturday, the state reported 1 death and, on Friday, two deaths: a man and a woman, both from Oahu. The man was in his 70s, had no known medical conditions and died at home. The woman was in her 40s and had underlying health conditions and also died at her home. 

Free surge testing is in its final days and continues today at various Oahu locations, including at University of Hawaii Manoa and Leeward Community College from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Monday, the last scheduuled day for the testing, locations include Aloha Stadium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

See the website doineedacovid19test.com for other locations. Participants can register on the website or walk up.

Hilo hospital reports on COVID death 

Hilo Medical Center reported one death due to COVID-19 yesterday and suspended most hospital visits as the number of patients testing positive for the virus stood at 18. Meanwhile, at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, no additional deaths were reported.

In a case that illustrates the challenge the hospital faces, one patient who tested negative when first admitted developed a fever and cough and tested positive 11 days later. Contact tracing began on Friday of the patient's roommates and staff who had cared for the patient, the hospital said.

One roommate was found to be negative after Rapid ID testing. Fifty staff who interacted with the patient were also assessed; of those 21 staff and 1 doctor met the criteria for exposure that triggered tests and home quarantines.

Twenty of the staff received negative results yesterday and one test result is pending. Other staff in the affected unit were also tested yesterday.

The hospital now has 18 COVID-positive patients, 6 of whom are in the intensive care unit and 12 in its COVID unit.

The hospital says it will assess whether to restart visitations early this week after it receives the remaining test results. 

At the state veterans home, 66 residents and 27 staff have tested positive for the virus. Seventeen residents and 5 employees have recovered.

Four residents are hospitalized at Hilo Medical Center and 35 are being cared for at the home's COVID-designated area. For the third day in a row, no deaths were reported.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who tested positive for COVID and learned of the results Friday evening, has been home quarantining. In his Instagram update yesterday, he said he was doing fine.

"I'm worried about my family," he said. "Don't worry too much. My oxygen saturation is 97%. I've eaten 12 meatballs. And I've played six games of Solitaire."

This is a developing story. Please check back for upates. Editor's note: We’d like to hear how you’re coping with the latest COVID-19 developments and the state's phased reopening. You can call our talkback line at 808-792-8217. Or e-mail us at talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.