HONOLULU (KHON2) — Starting March 16, the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) will be reporting COVID data only once a week. The daily COVID count will no longer be available, and the public can expect the data to be reported on Wednesdays only.

“Our decisions have always been based on trends, not single day counts. There is a greater focus now on weekly hospital admissions, weekly hospital occupancy and weekly case counts when calculating the current community levels of COVID-19. Our processes are evolving as the pandemic evolves,” said DOH Director Dr. Elizabeth Char in a statement.

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It has been almost two years since DOH started the COVID reports, and Char shared her gratitude toward her team.

“We owe our data team a great deal of gratitude for working at an exhausting pace. The shift to weekly reporting allows for a more effective and sustainable response,” Char said.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble explained that more people are taking COVID-19 tests at home, which makes the state’s case counts not as accurate of a reflection of the virus in the community.

“We are still monitoring case counts, but hospital metrics now play a larger role in our decisions. Vaccination progress is still an important metric. Weekly intervals are better than day-to-day incremental changes when determining where progress is being made or where additional progress is needed,“ said Kemble.

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The DOH also pointed out that the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine said only nine states report daily COVID case counts.