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DOH: Lab delays are showing as decline in cases

45 cases reported Sunday, with 1 on Maui

The Maui News

Hawaii reported fewer than 100 COVID-19 cases for the second straight day, though the state said the recent numbers were “not a complete and accurate picture” due to reporting delays at a major testing lab.

On Sunday, the state Department of Health reported 45 new cases, including 44 on Oahu and one on Maui. On Saturday, there were 87 new cases, all on Oahu.

There have now been 2,242 cases statewide, including 1,886 on Oahu, 171 in Maui County (including two on Molokai and none on Lanai), 115 on Hawaii island, 47 on Kauai and 23 that have been diagnosed out of state.

There remain 26 deaths, including six on Maui.

The weekend results came on the heels of a record-setting stretch that included an all-time daily high of 124 cases statewide Thursday.

The COVID-19 Joint Information Center said Sunday that the daily reporting of positive cases has been temporarily affected by missing data Saturday and Sunday from Clinical Laboratories of Hawaii, a major private lab conducting most of the tests in the state.

“This is likely a result of recent modifications in data reporting required by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,” state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said in a news release. “We have advised the affected laboratory to provide manual reporting of data until they’re able to correct the reporting issues. This is impacting our ability to quickly identify and investigate new persons with COVID-19 and to contact trace.”

The state Health Department will likely need to update case numbers from Friday on, the news release said.

Health officials continued to attribute ongoing cases to large social gatherings. On Friday, Maui County began limiting the number of people allowed at indoor and outdoor social gatherings to no more than 10.

“It’s disappointing and dangerous to people’s health, for anyone to continue to encourage and actively promote these big groups,” Park said. “Everyone should avoid large gatherings and crowded places and use proven, common-sense and simple steps to protect our community from COVID-19.”

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