HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Department of Health (DOH) will start reporting “probable” COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, May 19.
DOH officials say adding probable cases to daily case counts will provide a more realistic account of the prevalence of COVID-19 in Hawaii.
A probable case will be added if a person tests positive with an antigen test but does not confirm their infection with a PCR test. The DOH can also include an individual as a probable case if the person was symptomatic or exposed to a positive COVID-19 case but did not get tested themselves.
“We’re seeing a lot of change and development in testing technologies throughout the pandemic, and probable cases defined by antigen test is something that’s becoming a more common practice,” said Dr. Sara Kemble, acting State Epidemiologist. “So we may, it’s becoming important for us to capture what’s actually going on with the COVID pandemic.”
The DOH says they have been keeping records of probable COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.
There are about 1,600 probable cases as of Tuesday, May 18.
Officials say the probable cases will be added Wednesday, so Hawaii’s new case count is expected to jump. The jump in cases will not affect Hawaii’s tier system for reopening, according to DOH officials.