As COVID cases tend to drop in Hawaii, death toll rises

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HONOLULU (KHON2) – Hawaii has seen a decline in the number of COVID cases in recent weeks, but for many days the number of reported deaths remains high.

The state reported 35 new COVID-related deaths during the last week of October and the first week of November. People with underlying health conditions on Oahu – in the 60 to 69 age range – accounted for most of the deaths.

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According to the Department of Health (DOH), the figures are updated once the department receives death certificates from doctors, hospitals or the medical examiner.

“You know that the cases reported today could be the cause of activity over the past two weeks,” said Hilton Raethel, CEO of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii. “We’ve had some low numbers over the past two weeks, but it can just be a timing issue depending on when these cases are being treated, if lab tests need to be done, what did this patient actually die of? or an autopsy should be performed. “

According to the DOH, in October, the number of coronavirus deaths in the state rose from a total of 813 to 911. The 60-69 and 70-79 age groups saw the highest increase in deaths. Health experts said the increase in the number of deaths was expected.

“Deaths tend to be considerably less than hospitalizations and, more importantly, the number of cases matters,” said Dr. Thomas Lee, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Hawaii. “So it’s no surprise that cases are decreasing, deaths haven’t really increased yet, and hospitalizations are trending up.”

The the medical examiner has one of his mortuary trailers in full use, and there is already another loan. A third trailer is also present, but it is not in use at the moment. FEMA already has 380 applicants from Hawaii for its funeral program to help relatives who have died of COVID.

“So we hope for now that this is just an anomaly or a little catching up, but unfortunately that only adds to the severity and death of this disease,” Raethel added.

Find more COVID-19 news: cases, vaccinations on our Coronavirus News page

“We should always take COVID seriously by making sure you take all possible precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones with vaccinations, wearing a mask also when you are with a large group of people,” Dr Lee said. . .


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