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Older Oahu man is Hawaii’s 1st coronavirus death; total cases at 224

Hawaii state Department of Health microbiologist Mark Nagata demonstrates the process for testing a sample for coronavirus at the department's laboratory in Pearl City, Oahu. AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy

Gov. David Ige said Hawaii’s first coronavirus death is an older Oahu male who was hospitalized with multiple medical issues.

He died Monday night, Ige said.

Ige, Lt. Gov. Josh Green, State Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson and Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency Director Kenneth Hara expressed sorrow over the loss of one of Hawaii’s kupuna and offered condolences to the family during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

The exact cause of death has not been determined. The Oahu man had tested positive for the disease and had been exposed to someone who had tested positive, Anderson said.

Meanwhile the state also reported an increase of 20 new cases, mostly on Oahu, which brings the total to 224 in the state.

The 20 new cases include 18 in Honolulu County and two whose county of residence have yet to be confirmed. Maui County remained at 25; Big Island is at 15; and Kauai is at 12.

Of the total 224 cases, more than 80 percent were residents returning from other areas and 6 percent have required hospitalization.

The state DOH mistakenly said an unidentified adult Oahu resident had died March 20 from complications due to coronavirus. Later, health officials said test results had been misread and issued an apology.

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