By Alfred Acenas
EBC Hawaii Bureau
HONOLULU (Eagle News) – Fifty cases in Oahu, three in Big Island, and two in Maui comprise the total count of 55 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, July 23. This is the highest number of cases reported on a single day since the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) began tracking cases in late February. The previous highest one-day count was on July 11 with 42 cases.
“These cases represent people from all walks of life and varied professions, indicating the apparent challenges of maintaining safe practices is widespread across the state,” State Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson said.
He also extended condolences to the family and friends of the 26th person to succumb to coronavirus, an elderly Oahu woman.
DOH continues to track and investigate numerous clusters.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park echoed Anderson’s comments.
“Most cases are occurring as a result of people socializing and getting together either with work colleagues, extended family, or friends in multiple types of settings, without wearing face coverings or distancing,” Park said. “I continue to hope all in our community will maintain safe practices, but unfortunately the persistence of new cases would argue against that.”
The safe practices that everyone should be practicing consistently are the following:
- physical distancing of six-feet (two meters) or more when around anyone outside your own household;
- wear masks when in public and/or unable to physical distance;
- frequent hand washing; and
- stay home when sick.
“Regrettably, many of the cases we’ve seen in recent weeks suggest that one or more of the safe practices were not being followed by individuals or groups of people,” Park added. “Hawaii has done better and can do better; we all need to remember to maintain the safe practices in this COVID world.”
Both Anderson and Park continue to consult with and advise Hawaii Governor David Ige and his leadership team on the nexus between the public health crisis and the need to restore the state’s economy as quickly as possible.
“Unfortunately, if we can’t get these numbers headed in the right direction, we may be facing the re-implementation of restrictions. No one wants that to happen and this is why it is so critical that everyone does their part every day, everyplace in practicing safety for the sake of the health of all in Hawaii,” Anderson concluded.
Meanwhile, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has announced that Governor Ige approved the order requiring face coverings in gyms and fitness facilities.
“We took this action because we’ve seen two super spreader events happen in gyms,” Caldwell stated. “We want them to stay open so people can exercise and maintain healthy practices during this pandemic.”
(Eagle News Service)