HONOLULU (KHON2) — For a second day in a row, health officials are reporting two deaths associated with COVID-19, bringing the state’s death toll to 31.
This comes as 201 new cases were reported Friday, one on Maui and 200 on Oahu, marking Oahu’s largest single-day increase. The statewide total now surpassing 3,000.
Health officials say both of the latest victims are men from Oahu. One is over 60 years old and had been hospitalized after being exposed to a positive household member. The second man was between 40 and 59 years old. He died alone at home. His family reported he had symptoms but did not seek medical care.
Health officials are making dire predictions in the coming weeks. The daily spikes mean more active cases. And while hospitals are still able to handle the current load, Lt. Gov. Josh Green says the increase in active cases will likely lead to a surge of deaths.
“With 1,618 active cases, I predict there will be 175 hospitalizations in the next 14 days additional, and also as many as 20 fatalities over the course of the next month based on these numbers,” said Green.
He adds that having HPD step up enforcement of not having more than 10 people at gatherings will help. But he points out it will be hard for police officers to stop people from having large parties inside their homes. In most cases it’s the younger population who violate the rules. So Green is asking older residents to sit down with their family and lay out the consequences.
“I think that we, as parents and grandparents, need to share with our younger generation that this is the time really to please maintain a quiet lifestyle,” said Green.
He says what happens in the next few weeks will affect everyone. The economy will not get better unless Hawaii as a whole becomes safer. He says right now, reopening tourism on September 1 is unlikely.
“I would say that it’s not particularly realistic as of today. I think the governor will have to revisit that with the whole group that’s working on it. If you open up transpacific travel and you have a lot of people at restaurants and a lot of people at hotels, there will be extra risk and our hospitals are gonna be full at the end of this month or into September, at this rate,” said Green.
He says even if Oahu residents follow the rules, we won’t see a significant drop in cases until five to seven days. So there will be more triple digits in daily cases. He adds that we can still turn things around but the window is closing. So everyone needs to clamp down now.
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