Molokai sees second COVID-19 case Saturday; state at 351 cases, 4 deaths

Hawaii state Department of Health medical lab technician Terilyn Lucero tests a sample for respiratory agents at the department's laboratory in Pearl City, Oahu, recently. AP photo / Audrey McAvoy

A second case of COVID-19 on Molokai was announced by state and county leaders late Saturday night.

After the first case was confirmed earlier this week from an employee of the Friendly Market Center, Mayor Michael Victorino, Sen. Majority Leader J. Kalani English and Rep. Lynn DeCoite worked with the market’s owners to facilitate testing for all employees.

The second positive test came out of that round of testing, a news release said.

As a result, Friendly Market Center will remain closed until April 20 and employees will undergo self-quarantine.

Meanwhile, an East Oahu male, who was older than 65 and was being hospitalized, died Saturday morning in Hawaii’s fourth fatality linked to COVID-19, according to the state Department of Health.

Officials said the man’s coronavirus case is travel-related, since he may have been exposed to someone who had traveled.

The state jumped 32 new cases, which include two minors, to reach 351 total today.

Of the 32 new cases today, two are from Maui, bringing the county to 38. There are 29 new on Oahu (now at 266); two on Big Island (22 total); and two on Kauai (15 total). Three individuals were removed from the pending residency list.

Community spread is identified in one new case and in 20 cases to date. The risk factor in 19 cases today and 147 of the total cases remains unknown.

The majority of cases reported since tracking began Feb. 28 involve Hawaii residents and are related to travel (12 today and 184 to date).

Leaders are working with local businesses on Molokai to help sanitize their buildings and surrounding areas.

“Unfortunately, this situation was a strong possibility after the first individual, who also is a store employee, tested positive on Molokai,” Victorino said in an announcement. “I want the residents of Molokai to know that we will make sure that services and goods will continue to arrive to the island. My primary focus is to maintain essential supplies for Molokai and ensure their health and safety.”

English said they are working to ensure the other stores in Kaunakakai have sufficient food and resources for island residents.

DeCoite urged people to comply with county and state stay-at-home orders.

“We know this is in the Moloka’i community. The way we kokua one another is to stay at home! It is all of our responsibility to stop the spread by staying home! I know we are all scared and want information. For now, stay at home.”


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