Hawaii’s first COVID-19 death was an elderly Oahu resident


The state announced its first COVID-19 related death, an elderly adult on Oahu. This, as the total number of cases increases by 20 to 224. All the new cases today were on Oahu.

Health officials point out that the report of the fatal case should be more reason for everyone to comply with quarantine and stay at home orders.

State officials point out that the death was bound to happen, and everyone should remain vigilant because we cannot afford to let our guard down.

The state Department of Health says Hawaii’s first person who died from COVID-19 was an older Oahu resident with underlying health issues.

“It’s not clear at this time what the cause of death was, but the individual did have a positive COVID-19 associated exposure and it possibly did contribute,” said DOH Director Dr. Bruce Anderson.

He says the patient had been in the hospital when they died. The patient was tested by a private lab and confirmed positive for the virus.

“The best I can say is the individual was hospitalized recently with conditions that were possibly unrelated to COVID-19 and this test was done while the individual was in the hospital. He was there for a short period of time before he passed away,” said Anderson.

State officials say this should serve as a warning on the consequences of the pandemic. And why everyone should be following orders to stay at home. While COVID-19 affects everyone, they say this shows how much more vulnerable the elderly are to the disease.

“All can get it, all can become sick, but when a kupuna gets it, COVID-19, and they’re between 75 and 79, their likelihood of dying is much higher, as high as 8 percent. If a kupuna gets the virus and they’re 80 and older, it’s 14.4 percent mortality rate,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

The health department mistakenly announced that someone with COVID-19 died last week, saying a health official misread the report. DOH says it has added new measures to make sure that does not happen again.

“We are trying to get a sample to re-evaluate in our own laboratory just to be sure, but we’re acting as though this is a positive and there’s no reason to believe that it’s not at this time,” said Anderson.

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