HAWAI‘I COVID-19 JOINT INFORMATION CENTER DAILY NEWS DIGEST Feb. 5, 2021
Presence of COVID Variant Confirmed
At an afternoon news conference Governor David Ige announced that the DOH State Laboratories Division (SLD) has been working with private sector labs to collect and examine specimens of the virus that causes COVID-19. Gov. Ige said, “We also reported that whole genome sequencing was being performed on four specimens containing a molecular clue to determine whether they are the B1.1.7 variant, commonly called the UK variant. The results are in – and for the first time, we can confirm that this highly transmissible variant has been detected here in Hawaiʻi.” (See more detail in DOH item below).
“The good news is that we know how to slow the spread, and we’ve proven we can be successful in taking these measures,” Governor Ige said.
- MASK, DISTANCE, WASH YOUR HANDS and STAY HOME WHEN YOU’RE SICK
Governor Ige concluded, “We are not helpless against this variant. We can fight it by doing these simple, everyday things. We are not helpless against this highly transmissible variant. We can fight it by getting vaccinated and taking everyday actions such as wearing masks, distancing, washing hands and staying home when sick. And please limit your Super Bowl viewing parties to household members. Together, we can stay safe.”
Department of Health:
More Detail on the Presence of COVID Variant
The confirmed B.1.1.7 variant specimen is one of four samples previously identified in Hawai‘i as having a molecular clue consistent with the B.1.1.7 variant. The other specimens are still being analyzed. “We have already initiated contact tracing investigations and are monitoring these cases closely,” said Acting State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble.
The variant strain was detected in an O‘ahu resident with no history of travel. This person initially experienced symptoms in late January. One close contact also tested positive for the COVID-19. Whole genomic sequencing is being performed on the specimen from the close contact to determine if B.1.1.7 is present. The B.1.1.7 variant, originally detected in the United Kingdom, is highly transmissible and leads to a more rapid spread than other common COVID-19 strains.
Our lab is performing genome sequencing on 300 specimens per month. “The specimens selected for sequencing represent patients more likely to have variant strains, as well as specimens representing all parts of the state,” said State Laboratories Division Director Dr. Edward Desmond. “The sequencing will indicate the presence of variant strains with any of the mutations of concern.”
“We are concerned about the presence of the B.1.1.7 variant in Hawai‘i because more contagious strains can lead to an increase in case rates and ultimately require a higher percentage of people to get vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity,” said State Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char.
Read the full news release for more detail: https://hawaiicovid19.com/department-of-health-state-laboratory-confirms-presence-of-b-1-1-7-variant/
Daily Preliminary Vaccine Administration Updates
The chart below will be included in the Daily News Digest, Monday-Friday. A weekly summary with final vaccination numbers will be included each Wednesday.
101 New COVID-19 Cases Reported
DOH reports 101 new cases of coronavirus today. There were no additional deaths.
This report includes cases up until Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. Full data is posted on the State COVID-19 dashboard and on the DOH Disease Outbreak & Control Division website at noon each day at hawaiicovid19.com/dashboard.
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 11:59 p.m. Feb. 3, 2021
|Island of Diagnosis||New Cases||Reported since
(including new cases)
|HI residents diagnosed outside of HI||8||751|
Hospitalizations as of 8:30 a.m. on 2/4/21 – Hawai‘i-1, Maui-12, O‘ahu-44, Kauaʻi‘-0
++As a result of updated information, two cases on O‘ahu were recategorized to the island of Hawai‘i, one case on Maui was recategorized to O‘ahu, and one case from Maui and one case on O‘ahu were removed from the counts.
Department of Public Safety:
Five Hawai‘i Inmate Deaths Classified as COVID-19 Related
The deaths of five (5) male Halawa Correctional Facility inmates, all above the age of 65, are being classified by DOH as COVID-19-related deaths. The deaths all occurred in January. No additional information is being provided to protect individual medical privacy.
Halawa currently has just three (3) active positive inmate cases, two (2) of which are in medical isolation at the facility and one (1) hospitalized. There were 34 negative inmate result received today.
Six MCCC Inmates Positive for COVID-19, Statewide Inmate Testing Continues
The Maui Community Correctional Center (MCCC) reports 15 test results as part of mass testing efforts underway at the facility. Of the 15 results, six (6) were positive and nine (9) were negative. That brings the total active positive inmate cases to eight (8). There are 15 inmates in medical isolation, including the eight (8) confirmed positive cases, and an additional 76 inmates on quarantine status as they undergo testing. No MCCC staff have reported having COVID-19. MCCC is working collaboratively with the Maui District Health Office, DOH, and the Hawai‘i Army National Guard to implement mass testing of affected inmates and staff.
COVID-19 testing is continuously being conducted statewide at all facilities. The Halawa Correctional Facility reported 34 negative inmate test results and seven (7) negative staff test results. There were 17 negative inmate test results reported for the O‘ahu Community Correctional Center. For more information on PSD’s planning and response efforts to COVID-19: http://dps.hawaii.gov/blog/2020/03/17/coronavirus-covid-19-information-and-resources/
Hawaiʻi House of Representatives:
Committee to Hear Economy, Public Health, Vaccination Centers, Legislative Updates
The House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness will hold another informational briefing Monday on the economic impact of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i. The briefing will focus on updates regarding the economy, public health, vaccination centers, and legislative affairs. The briefing will begin at 10 a.m. and is available on ‘Olelo channel 49, or livestream at: https://olelo.org/
Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority:
9,411 Passengers Arrive on Thursday
Yesterday, a total of 9,411 people arrived in Hawai‘i from out of state. A total 5,472 people indicated they came to Hawai‘i for vacation. There were also 925 returning residents. The trans-Pacific passenger arrival data is derived from data provided by the Safe Travels digital system.
Trusted Testing and Travel Partners:
The state of Hawai‘i only accepts Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) lab test results from Trusted Testing and Travel Partners. For the full list of domestic trans-Pacific, inter-county, international and airline partners or information on how to become a Trusted Testing Partner, go to:
Safe Travels Hawai‘i Program:
Program overview: https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/
Email: [email protected]
Call Center Number: 1-800-GO-HAWAII
COVID-19 Vaccine Status in Hawai‘i and FAQs:
Vaccine Call Center: 808-586-8332
COVID-19 Expanded Dashboard (Tables, Charts, and Visualizations):
Safe Travels Digital Platform:
Trans-Pacific Passenger Arrivals Statistics:
Vaccine Information: https://www.kauai.gov/vaccine
Maui County travel and COVID-19 information:
To report violators: (808) 244-6400 or [email protected]
Hawai‘i County COVID-19 webpage:
Critical infrastructure and medical travel request: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/e2f4ce19aa854964a8fd60bec7fbe78c
To report violators: 808-935-3311
City & County of Honolulu:
Honolulu COVID-19 webpage: oneoahu.org
COVID-19 Vaccine Information: http://www.oneoahu.org/vaccine
Interisland passengers arriving on O‘ahu are not subject to the mandatory quarantine.
To report violators: 808-723-3900 or [email protected]
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center
— to governor.hawaii.gov