UPDATE: 3:25 p.m.
Hawaii Department of Health said the two latest deaths were Oahu men with underlying health conditions who died in the hospital. One man was in his 50s and the other was in his 70s.
In other developments today:
>> Gov. David Ige said today he expects the coronavirus vaccine will be available in Hawaii as early as next week. Read more.
>> Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said it would be very difficult, but that there is still hope that Oahu could get to Tier 3 by Christmas in about two weeks. Read more.
>> The Halawa Correctional implemented quarantine protocols today following 13 confirmed coronavirus cases there. Read more.
>> Gov. David Ige has approved a request from Maui Mayor Michael Victorino to temporarily close bars and bar areas within restaurants in Maui County for two weeks due to double-digit increases in COVID-19 cases. Read more.
Hawaii health officials today reported two additional coronavirus-related deaths and 123 new infections statewide, bringing the totals since the start of the pandemic to 268 fatalities and 18,864 cases.
No further information was immediately available regarding the latest deaths on Oahu.
The official state Department of Health coronavirus-related death toll includes 205 fatalities on Oahu, 43 on Hawaii island, 17 on Maui, one on Kauai, and two Hawaii residents who died on the mainland. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said today that the Big Island’s COVID-19 death toll remained 49; state health officials have yet to verify coronavirus as a factor in six of those deaths.
The U.S. coronavirus death toll is more than 291,000 today as cases surpassed 15 million.
Today’s new infection cases in Hawaii include 79 on Oahu, 11 on Maui, 24 on the Big Island, two on Kauai, and seven Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state, according to the Health Department.
The statistics released today reflect the new cases reported to the department through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.
Health officials counted 6,987 COVID-19 new test results, for a 1.76% statewide positivity rate.
The total number of coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 16,003 on Oahu, 1,688 in Hawaii County, 644 on Maui, 123 on Kauai, 106 on Lanai, and 22 on Molokai. There are also 278 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.
Hawaii health officials said that of the state’s total infection count, 1,175 cases are considered to be active. Health officials say they consider infections reported in the past 14 days to be a “proxy number for active cases.” The number of active cases in the state fell by four today.
By island, Oahu had 905 active cases, Maui had 128, the Big Island had 119, Kauai had 18 and Molokai had five.
Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 1,354 have required hospitalizations, with eight new hospitalizations reported today by state health officials.
Two hospitalizations in the statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 1,352 hospitalizations within the state, 1,191 have been on Oahu, 80 on the Big Island, 67 on Maui, seven on Kauai, five on Lanai, and one on Molokai.
According to the latest information from the department’s Hawaii COVID-19 data dashboard, a total of 51 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of noon Wednesday, with 18 in intensive care units and 14 on ventilators.
Oahu moved to the less-restrictive Tier 2 of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s four-tier economic recovery plan on Oct. 22. The mayor’s office says that to gauge whether Honolulu will move to a different tier, the city takes a “weekly assessment” of two key COVID-19 numbers each Wednesday. To move to Tier 3 from Tier 2, the 7-day average of new cases must be below 50 on two consecutive Wednesdays. Also, the 7-day average positivity rate must be below 2.5% on those two Wednesdays.
Today’s seven-day average case count for Oahu is 66 and the positivity rate was 2.0%, according to Caldwell.
This breaking news story will be updated as more information becomes available.