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State’s COVID Cases Set 3-Day Record Highs

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Last week brought three consecutive days of record-high COVID-19 cases in Hawaii, as of Sunday. July 23 was the highest single-day case count since the beginning of the pandemic with 55 new cases and the 26th death in the state. The next day brought an even higher number at 60 new cases. July 25 continued the streak with 73.

“Some of the cases we’re reporting today are associated with existing clusters, known cases and household spread, but others are new, unassociated cases that indicate increasing community spread,” said State Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson on Friday. “In contact tracing, we continue to identify cases connected with gatherings or just hanging out with close friends. Until we all recognize the importance of physically distancing from people outside of their households and wearing masks, we face the prospect of even higher numbers.”

As of July 25, 625 people across the state were in isolation or quarantine due to exposure to someone or being positive for COVID-19.

“Thursday’s, Friday’s, and today’s numbers demonstrate the relaxation of safe practices from the 4th of July, particularly on Oahu, may have been one primary reason for these daily new records,” said Anderson Saturday. “We’re beginning to see more cases among younger to middle-age adults, many who relay stories of attending gatherings, parties, events or socializing at bars.”

Meanwhile, arrests for quarantine violations of those traveling from the mainland continue, particularly on Oahu.

Though Molokai cases remain at two, many fear residents’ interisland travel may change that.

As of Sunday, the Dept. of Education is still holding firm that public schools will resume Aug. 4, despite calls from the Hawaii State Teachers Association and other unions, as well as concerned parents, to delay opening.

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