Waikiki beach COVID-19-0114.jpg

The spike in cases can be partly attributed to large gatherings at the beach. 

109 COVID-19 cases were reported Wednesday, July 29 based upon testing between Saturday to Tuesday. 98 of Wednesday’s total are on O‘ahu, 9 are on Maui and 2 are on Kaua‘i.

Case numbers were expected to increase this week, due to testing labs being shut down on Monday and Tuesday for Hurricane Douglas. Closures of these labs led to 5,160 tests being processed between Saturday and Tuesday. Normally, only 1,000 to 2,000 tests are processed each day. 

In a news release, the State Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson correlates the jump in cases to recent trends since the Fourth of July weekend. 

“We are seeing an increase in small and large social gatherings, including gatherings on beaches and in our parks, at homes and in workplaces. We have also recently seen an increase in cases associated with bars, gyms other establishments where physical distancing and masking is not regularly practiced,” Anderson said. 

Anderson recommended further restrictions based on the data collected from contact tracing and investigations into the issue. Venues where clusters of cases have been identified are subject to further investigations by the state. 

Other clusters have been associated with numerous social functions including house parties, beach gatherings, shopping, meeting at bars and holiday celebrations. 

“Masking and physical distancing not only protect us but also those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19,” Anderson said. “As we anticipate schools to reopen, our children are going to need to look to adults to set an example and we can’t let our guards down right now.”

Managing Editor

Gabrielle Parmelee is a senior double majoring in English and Spanish at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She graduated from Hazen High School in 2017 in Renton, Washington State. Her favorite pastime is hiking with her dog, Nessie.