HONOLULU (KHON2) – The state positivity rate remains near 3% and COVID-19 hospital admissions have climbed to 70, the highest since late January 2021.
Health officials are concerned as the numbers start to reflect events in July and August 2020.
“We’re losing ground on the ground we’ve gained and earned over the past few months, and it’s a little scary at this point because we know we’re a month away from last year we saw that those infections have just skyrocketed, and “hospitalizations and deaths are skyrocketing,” said Elena Cabatu, Hilo Medical Center’s director of marketing.
Doctors say the biggest difference this time around is that virtually all hospitalizations and infections are preventable with the vaccine at this point.
Hospital stays, intensive care beds, case numbers and positivity rates are increasing across the country as the delta variant spreads
“This is clearly the unvaccinated pandemic as reported by Dr. Walensky was described by the CDC, “said Lt. Gov. Josh Green. “We now have 70 people in the hospital and practically all of them are unvaccinated.”
Hilo Medical Center increased from four COVID patients in the week of Monday July 12 to nine on Saturday July 17 and has four of the 11 intensive care beds in use.
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“We are talking about an avoidable case of hospitalization. So if we keep getting less vaccinations, the hospital resources will be less stressed and utilized, ”Cabatu said.
She said she saw teenagers in the hospital with COVID, but recently the patients are 30 to 50 years old.
“Unvaccinated Pandemic” weighs on busy US hospitals
“And that reflects vaccination rates for that age, these age groups,” she said.
The Department of Health (DOH) said the current fall trend across the country is unvaccinated residents who have traveled and unvaccinated residents at indoor gatherings who are not wearing masks.
According to the DOH website, there were 291 travel-related COVID cases between June 15 and July 15, with most of the cases (258) being residents.
According to state data, 338,810 people have entered the state since July 8 when vaccinated mainland travelers were able to bypass a pre-test or quarantine.
In these nine days, 204,405 travelers presented proof of vaccination; 104,752 opted for a negative COVID test and 6,578 opted for quarantine.
Of the travelers who chose not to take a pre-test or provide proof of vaccination, 4,466 residents were compared to 2,112 visitors.
On Saturday, Kauai health officials said most of their recent cases were from residents returning home from Las Vegas.
The county said Vegas carries significant risks as most of the activity is indoors and overcrowded with people from across the country who do not have to wear masks.
On Friday, Vegas health officials advised everyone, vaccinated or not, to wear face covers again.
“The unvaccinated people who become infected with the Delta variant are now being hospitalized in some cases,” Green added. “So, we’re not done with that yet, I really, really want to encourage people to get vaccinated to avoid major number one illness, and that in turn will prevent hospitalization.”