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Woman is Maui’s 6th COVID-19 fatality

She was hospitalized since late February, over 60 years old with underlying conditions

A medical worker places a swab in a vial while testing for COVID-19. AP photo

The Maui News

Maui County recorded another coronavirus-related death Sunday, raising the county total to six and state fatalities to 17, according to state health officials.

The state Department of Health reported the Maui death is a woman older than 60 years old with underlying health conditions who had been hospitalized at Maui Memorial Medical Center since late February. Her COVID-19 infection occurred in mid-April.

“COVID-19 is not believed to be the primary cause of death, due to her other serious illnesses, but may have been a contributing factor to her passing,” according to a news release from the Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center.

State Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson offered condolences to the woman’s family and friends and urged people to remain vigilant in measures to reduce COVID-19 spread.

“Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of another valued member of our community,” he said in the release. “Please follow social distancing guidelines and current emergency rules to help protect our most vulnerable people.”

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino also expressed condolences to the woman’s family and friends.

“I continue to ask everyone to care for their loved ones and work together to keep our people safe and healthy,” he said in a news release. “We face many uncertainties in Maui County, but we must always be certain about the compassion and care we have for one another.”

Meanwhile, the state COVID-19 count increased by two new cases as of noon Sunday, with one in Honolulu County and one in Hawaii County.

State health officials said that data cleaning led to removing one case each from Maui County and from Honolulu County due to duplication.

With the adjustments, the state has 620 cases total since tracking began at the end of February, including 400 in Honolulu County, 116 in Maui County (two of whom are on Molokai), 74 in Hawaii County and 21 in Kauai County. Nine Hawaii residents have been diagnosed out of state.

Of the total cases, 73 have required hospitalization and 544 have been released from isolation. Fatalities are now at 11 on Oahu and six on Maui.

With the state’s infection curve flattening, and single-digit new COVID-19 cases being reported in the past few days, Anderson and other state leaders cautioned against letting guards down.

“With the pending reopening of businesses, we urge everyone to continue doing what they’ve been doing – stay at home, unless it’s necessary to go out, practice social distancing, wash your hands, and wear masks,” Anderson said. “For now, this is our new normal, in order to protect each other and prevent the spread of the disease.”

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