63 more virus cases reported at Hawaii’s largest prison

HONOLULU (AP) — A coronavirus outbreak at Hawaii’s largest prison continues to multiply.

The state Department of Public Safety said Saturday that an additional 55 inmates and eight employees have tested positive for the coronavirus at the Halawa Correctional Facility. The total number of active cases in the prison now encompasses 325 inmates and 43 staffers, KITV-TV reported.

The Department of Public Safety had announced a lockdown and other measures to try to control the outbreak, which initially infected three inmates and 10 staffers last week.

The outbreak at Halawa is the third major correctional facility in the state to face coronavirus issues since the pandemic began. The Oahu Community Correctional Center has had 450 inmates test positive for COVID-19, and the Waiawa Community Correctional Center in Waipahu has reported 213 cases among inmates.

The state public safety agency said there were still three ongoing cases at the Oahu Community Correctional Center, six at the Waipahu correctional center and four at the private prison in Arizona as of Saturday.

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.

For most people, the new 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.