Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Daily COVID Case Count Expected to Hit Record High Thursday

December 29, 2021, 4:37 PM HST
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Hawaiʻi County is expecting the highest daily case count since the start of the pandemic to be reported Thursday, Dec. 30.

Early estimates from the State Department of Health indicate the potential for more than 220 cases to be reported.

The highest case count to date was 206 cases, which was attributed to the onset of the Delta variant, county officials stated Wednesday. Although counts continue to rise, hospitalizations are stable islandwide.

Currently, nine COVID patients are hospitalized, with four patients in the ICU and one on a ventilator. Those numbers are down considerably from the peak of the Delta surge, which had a high of 16 patients in the ICU, 12 on ventilators, and 69 COVID patients hospitalized in a single day. The island is currently 66% fully vaccinated, with 71% of the population initiated.

“We are seeing the positive effects of the vaccines in full effect,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “Although the rise in numbers is certainly nothing to discount, we are comforted by the community’s response thus far and are confident that folks will continue to do the right thing to keep each other safe.”

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Roth said his administration remains ready to pivot if necessary but has no plans of placing any further restrictions on Big Island residents at this time.

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“Throughout the pandemic, we have worked hard to maintain a balanced approach that considers the working class, the kupuna, and the keiki to find equitable solutions for all,” Roth stated. “We understand that some folks would like to see fewer restrictions, and others would like to see more, but at this time, we believe that we have figured out what works, and we are committed to sticking to that. We know that we won’t make everyone happy. Still, we will continue to operate with the best interest of the County and its residents in mind as we navigate forward using science, data, and aloha as justification of our actions and policies.”

County officials applauded further the preventative measures the community has taken on their own accord to protect themselves and their loved ones throughout the pandemic. Testing and vaccination sites remain readily available islandwide and can be found at hawaiicounty.gov/coronavirus.

Officials continue to encourage residents to get booster shots.

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