More Hawaii jail virus cases a day after containment report

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Public Safety has said that 19 inmates tested positive for COVID-19 a day after officials declared an outbreak in an Oahu jail was under control.

The announcement followed another round of testing at the Oahu Community Correctional Center, Hawaii Public Radio reported Sunday.

The department said 131 of 150 inmate tested negative and that tests on 22 staff members were negative.

There have been 310 inmates at Oahu Community Correctional Center who have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 93 staff have also tested positive, the department said.

Mass testing continues at other correctional facilities, officials said.

Results from inmate testing at the Halawa Correctional Facility, a state prison in Honolulu, came back negative Friday, with 23 tests pending.

All results were negative for 164 inmates tested at Kulani Correctional Facility on Hawaii island and all results were negative at the Waiawa Correctional Facility on Oahu.

“This huge accomplishment of negative broad-based testing results in the inmate population of three prison facilities shows that staff are executing their pandemic plans daily,” said Maria Cook, the department’s deputy director for administration.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.