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109 new cases reported, including nine on Maui

A record number of 109 COVID-19 cases, including nine on Maui, were reported Wednesday by the state, who attributed the spike to lab closures on Sunday and Monday after Hurricane Douglas.

Of the 109 new cases, 98 were on Oahu, nine on Maui and two on Kauai. A total of 5,160 tests were processed between Saturday and Wednesday, according to the Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center. Normally about 1,000 to 2,000 tests are processed each day.

There have now been 1,865 cases statewide, including 1,516 on Oahu, 163 on Maui (including two on Molokai and none on Lanai), 116 on Hawaii island and 47 on Kauai. Twenty-three residents have been diagnosed out of state. One case was removed from Oahu due to updated information.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green said Wednesday afternoon that there were 61 hospitalizations statewide.

State Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson said in a news release Wednesday that “the dramatic increase in cases” has been expected since the Fourth of July weekend and ongoing social gatherings, including at beaches, parks, homes and workplaces.

“We have also recently seen an increase in cases associated with bars, gyms (and) other establishments where physical distancing and masking is not regularly practiced,” Anderson said. “Based on data collected on cases through our investigations and contact tracing, we are recommending that strategic actions be taken to further restrict activities associated with these cases.”

Multiple household and other clusters have been associated with house parties, beach gatherings, birthday parties, Father’s Day and Fourth of July celebrations, religious functions, coworkers sitting in long meetings while removing masks to eat or drink, shopping, funeral events, meeting for drinks and socializing at bars.

“We’re seeing relaxed rules around our community and in businesses where people stop wearing masks and don’t practice physical distancing,” Anderson said. “We all have to take personal responsibility to protect ourselves as well as others.”

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