HONOLULU – Two new Hawaiʻi Department of Health (DOH) reports illustrate how the highly transmissible delta variant is sweeping across the state.
“These reports reinforce what we know about the alarming increase in cases across Hawai‘i. Delta is different—it is twice as transmissible as other variants,” said Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char, FACEP. “COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death, including from the delta variant. It’s critical that Hawaiʻi residents take precautions to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 and preserve healthcare capacity.”
DOH released a new cluster report identifying 70 COVID-19 clusters statewide, totaling 1,374 cases. Eighteen clusters occurred on Oʻahu, 44 occurred on Maui, one occurred on Hawaiʻi Island and seven occurred on Kauaʻi. The report underscores that this surge is being driven by widespread community transmission. Vaccination reduces but does not eliminate the risk of becoming infected.
The State Laboratory Division reports that the delta variant makes up virtually all sequenced samples in Hawaiʻi. The delta variant was first identified in Hawaiʻi in June 2021.
The State Laboratory Division began whole genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 in June 2020. It now examines 50 to 100 specimens a week to find variants in a timely manner.
In addition to vaccination, Hawai‘i residents should stay home if sick and get tested for COVID-19, wear a mask in indoor public places, move activities outside, and postpone gatherings to protect themselves, their families, and our community.
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