Hawaii Coronavirus Cases Surge as Governor Warns of New Lockdown Measures

Novel coronavirus cases continue to surge in Hawaii, which reported a record daily case count of 207 new cases on Monday, the highest single-day rise reported in the state since the outbreak began, Hawaii's Department of Health confirmed Monday.

Of the new cases reported Monday, 114 were confirmed to be from delayed testing. Increased testing in any given population is likely to lead to a rise in the daily case count.

The state's three-day rolling average of daily tests done over roughly the past two weeks (from July 20 to August 2) was 29,648. The figure marked a 2.9 percent increase from the three-day rolling average of daily tests done in the 14 days prior (July 6 to July 19), which was 28,820, according to the latest figures from the Hawaii Department of Health website.

Hawaii's seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in the same 14-day period (July 20 to August 2) was reported to be 785. This was a 123 percent increase from the 352 seven-day rolling average of daily new cases recorded in the 14 days prior (July 6 to July 19), according to the latest figures from the department.

Hawaii's average positivity rate over the past week was reported to be 4.8 percent, jumping from 2.8 percent reported two weeks ago, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige noted Monday that the recent surge "is a result of community spread and that people have been relaxing and letting their guard down," the governor's office confirmed in a statement.

"As we re-opened, many people have relaxed their vigilance and this new surge is a result. If we don't get this surge under control, we may need to put back some restrictions and no one wants to see that. We can only beat COVID-19 by working together. Everyone needs to take personal responsibility," Ige said.

The health director of Hawaii's Department of Health, Bruce Anderson, added: "Unfortunately, Hawaii is experiencing spikes in cases similar to many mainland states, and in most cases, we can track new infections back to those who have let down their guard. Everyone needs to take this very seriously."

Most of the latest new infections reported Monday were on the island of Oahu, home to the state capital of Honolulu. Last week a state of emergency was declared in Honolulu, which will remain in place until August 31, Honolulu Mayor Kirk W. Caldwell confirmed in a proclamation issued Thursday.

Hawaii's seven-day rolling average of daily new cases has been sharply increasing from July 22, according to Worldometer.

The state's active cases—those currently infected either being treated in hospital or recovering at home—have been rising consistently on a steep incline from July 22, reaching 1,107 on August 3. Active cases account for 45 percent of the state's 2,448 total confirmed cases to date, according to Worldometer.

Waikiki Beach Hawaii 2018
Beachgoers at Waikiki Beach in Oahu, Hawaii, pictured in August 2018. Getty Images

The state recently announced that from August out-of-state travelers would have the option of avoiding a 14-day quarantine if they get a valid COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their trip and show proof of a negative test result at the airport.

However, the launch of this option was postponed until September following a recent surge in new cases.

Ige confirmed at a July 13 press briefing: "We have assessed the current situation here and on the mainland and I am announcing today that we will be delaying the launch of the pre-travel testing program until September 1.

"On the U.S. mainland we continue to see uncontrolled outbreaks and surges...the outbreaks on the mainland are not in control and we don't believe that that situation would change significantly by August 1 as we had hoped," he said.

An increase in new cases in Hawaii and the anticipation of an uptick in cases when schools reopen in August were also contributing factors to the latest move, the governor's office confirmed in a statement.

"This decision came through much much discussion and we have assessed the situation that we see before us and over the past few weeks. I've already mentioned that we've set a new record in the number of cases—42. And just a reminder a few days before that we had set the previous record of 41 cases," Ige said at the press briefing.

More than 18.2 million people globally have been infected since the virus was first reported in Wuhan, China, including over 4.7 million in the U.S. Over 10.6 million globally have reportedly recovered from infection, while over 693,700 have died, as of Tuesday, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The graphics below, provided by Statista, illustrate the spread of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

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The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates countries with the most COVID-19 cases.

Countries with most COVID-19 cases

Correction: The headline and article originally stated Hawaii's COVID-19 cases had jumped by 132 percent in one week. Those figures included delayed testing which was not necessarily from the previous week. A week by week comparison has been replaced by comparing both the 3-day and 7-day rolling averages of cases for each day of the past 14 days, compared to the 14 days before that in order to more accurately portray the data.