An estimated 3,300 families received nearly 100 pounds of food each during Friday’s Great Aloha Run food distribution event at Aloha Stadium as health facilities in Hawaii continue their vaccination campaigns to curb the coronavirus pandemic that has resulted in 281 deaths and 19,859 cases in the United States reinforced condition.
“It was very heartwarming to see that the families were really, really happy,” said Carole Kai, founder of the annual Great Aloha Run charity.
Enough food was available for 3,500 families, Kai said, and the rest of the items will be handed out in Waianae today.
Kai paid particular tribute to Ray Vara, President and CEO of Hawaii Pacific Health, the title sponsor of the Great Aloha Run, and Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the city for helping with food distribution.
Around $ 185,000 was raised by the private sector, while $ 200,000 came from federal COVID-19 aid through the city.
Kai also thanked Commercial Plumbing President Randy Hiraki for reaching out to them with the idea of running a food distribution.
Caldwell was one of around 200 volunteers at the event who helped pack and load food into cars. In a video posted on his Instagram account, Caldwell noted that the giveaway would allow families to put food on the table for Christmas just a week away.
“When we look at the faces of those who come through – a lot of sadness and a lot of appreciation,” he said. “The year 2020 was extremely difficult. … We look forward to the fact that this year is behind us and that 2021 will be a much brighter and more hopeful year. “
Kai said the food packages contained whole turkeys, hamburgers and spare ribs along with eggs, vegetables and other foods.
Meanwhile, Hawaii health officials reported a new coronavirus-related death on Oahu and 105 new infections across the state on Friday. The most recent death was a woman in her sixties with underlying medical conditions who was hospitalized.
The U.S. Department of Health’s coronavirus death toll now includes 217 deaths in Oahu, 44 in Hawaii, 17 in Maui, one in Kauai and two Hawaiian residents who died on the mainland.
The U.S. coronavirus death toll was more than 311,000 as of Friday, with over 17 million cases since the pandemic began.
Hawaii Pacific Health this week, along with other medical facilities, delivered the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which arrived in the state this week. The health system said it vaccinated 2,230 frontline workers at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, Pali Momi Medical Center, Straub Medical Center, and Hawaii Pacific Health Medical Group.
“These efforts required a remarkable amount of planning, coordination and teamwork to quickly deliver the new vaccine to our frontline workers, and I am deeply grateful to our team for all of their hard work,” Vara said in a statement. “The vaccine is an important step in keeping our healthcare workers safe and restoring the health and wellbeing of our communities. We remain determined to do our part to support these efforts. “
Vaccines have also been distributed to Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, Queen’s Medical Centers in Honolulu and West Oahu, Tripler Army Medical Center, and Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.
The new statewide cases of infection reported by the Department of Health include 105 in Oahu, 11 in Maui, seven in the Big Island, one in Kauai, and six Hawaiian residents diagnosed outside of the state. Due to updated information, one case each from Oahu and the Big Island was removed from the censuses, officials said.
The statistics released on Friday reflect new cases reported to the department by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday.
Health officials counted 4,720 new COVID-19 test results, which translates into a nationwide positivity rate of 2.7%.
The total number of coronavirus cases per island since the outbreak began is 16,760 in Oahu, 1,769 in Hawaii County, 746 in Maui, 136 in Kauai, 106 on Lanai and 22 in Molokai. A total of 320 residents of Hawaii have been diagnosed outside of the state.
Hawaii health officials said that out of the total number of infections in the state, 1,489 cases are considered active. Officials consider infections reported in the past 14 days to be a “proxy number for active cases”. The number of active cases in the state rose by Friday 21st.
On the island, Oahu has 1,153 active cases, Maui has 169, the Big Island has 147, Kauai has 16, and Molokai has four, according to the latest record.
Of all confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 1,394 had to be hospitalized. Seven new hospital stays – six in Oahu and one in the island of Hawaii – were reported by state health officials on Friday.
Three state hospital admissions are residents of Hawaii who have been diagnosed and treated outside of the state. Of the 1,391 hospital stays in the state, 1,120 were in Oahu, 84 in the Big Island, 69 in Maui, seven in Kauai, five in Lanai, and one in Molokai.