Hawaii sees largest daily jump in 2 months with 15 new cases
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii public health authorities said Friday 15 more people — including 10 from the same household — have tested positive for the disease caused by the coronavirus. It was the largest single-day increase in about two months.
The 10 were part of the same 14-member household on Oahu. One member of this household tested positive a few days ago, said Dr. Bruce Anderson, the director of the state Department of Health. The family lives in close proximity in two bedrooms of a home, which made it difficult for them to keep their distance.
Gov. David Ige said he expected cases to jump like this as the state began to reopen businesses. He said the number was manageable.
“We want everyone to be assured we are prepared for this increase,” Ige said at a news conference. The healthcare system has the capacity to treat these cases, he said.
The state Department of Health said a total of 706 people have tested positive since the outbreak began. The number of deaths remained unchanged at 17.
The governor imposed a statewide stay at home order in late March to control the spread of the virus. Restrictions were relaxed starting last month, allowing retailers and other businesses to reopen.
Hawaii has had relatively low infection rates compared to other U.S. states in part because it requires that travelers quarantine themselves for 14 days upon arrival.
The state plans to lift the quarantine mandate for inter-island travelers on Tuesday. The governor has also been developing plans to lift the quarantine requirement for travelers coming from out of state which will allow the tourism industry to resume operations.