HONOLULU (KHON2) — State officials from the Department of Health said there are many clusters of COVID-19 cases in the state, these could be made-up by two people or more who spread the virus by doing simple activities such as catching-up with loved ones.

Thursday marked the highest single-day jump of COVID-19 cases in Hawaii with 55 new positives. State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said cases continue to surface mostly from lack of social distancing and lack of facial coverings.

“Over, over and over again people are letting their guard down and often time it is with an acquaintance or a good friend and they are not distancing and not masked, it could be extended family.”

Dr. sarah park

The Department of Health said there is not a single cluster driving up the number of cases, it is a spread among families and friends with most cases coming from Oahu.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, said he has seen a lax attitude out in the community.

Caldwell said, “Saw choke baby luaus with more than 100 under tents, no face coverings, no physical distancing and we see the results of these kinds of things. Folks please, so much sacrifice has been made.”  

State data analyzed by KHON showed Thursday’s 55 positive cases were among a record 3,647 tests done in a single day, the highest test volume yet.

The 55 cases represent a 1.5% positivity rate. Even though Wednesday’s count was fewer at 17 COVID-19 cases, they tested fewer than 1,000 people, and it was actually a higher positivity rate of 1.7%.

The Department of Health said the overall average rate of positive cases remains consistent at about one percent of positive tests since March. It is far less than other states, but they said it could be much lower.

Park said, “If the percentage starts coming down, then the community is maintaining safe practices, the fact that the percentage persists or increases it’s a red flag that our community still isn’t getting it together.”

General precautions against the virus remain the same: maintain a physical distance of at least six-feet, wash hands often and wear a facial covering.

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