Military testing added to triple-digit COVID-19 case count, Honolulu mayor says

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — After a spike in Oahu’s COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a much lower number on Thursday was reported.

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One hundred new COVID-19 cases were reported statewide. Of those reported, 66 were on Oahu — down from 125 on Wednesday.

The mayor says that test results from the military were added to the case count, but we’re still seeing an upward trend. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says that for the next two weeks starting this Thursday, Oahu’s COVID-19 case numbers need to hit a certain number and a positivity rate to move forward into Tier 3.

“The seven-day average for the last week was 71 cases. We need to be 49 cases or lower to go to Tier 3,” explained Mayor Caldwell.

On Wednesday, we saw a big spike in the number of COVID cases on Oahu — a total of 125. That’s the highest number that the island saw since September. Mayor Caldwell says he was told that part of it involves clusters in homes where there were gatherings of more than five people that were not from the same household.

“But also yesterday, there were a number of tests done by the military that was put into our system. So it could’ve been a one time blip, which I’m hopeful of and today with the numbers down around 60, perhaps it was a one time blip,” he added.

But the mayor says we’re seeing a slow upward trend. Officials continue to push the message of wearing masks and keeping your distance, especially with the holidays around the corner.

“The numbers we’re seeing over the last few days, this do give us pause for concern. So testing is good, but prevention is better,” said Healthcare Association of Hawaii President Hilton Raethel.

The next 14 days will be critical. Mayor Caldwell says that we need to see days where it’s at 30, or even 20 cases, to move into Tier 3.

“And why is that so important? We can then have 10 people over to our homes for Thanksgiving. And we can do more things and more businesses can open up in more and more ways. We want that,” Mayor Caldwell said.

“I mean people love to get together. They want to get together, but we have to be very, very careful. COVID-19 is not a fun disease to get,” Raethel cautioned.

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