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The Latest: New Cases Jump to 156; Alm Preps For Post-Kealoha Tenure

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Cory Lum/Civil Beat
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Uupdated: 11/4/2020, 3:38 p.m. The state Department of Health reported no deaths but 156 new COVID-19 cases today. The total infections since the pandemic began now number 15,473.

Oahu had 125 new cases, Hawaii County 21, Maui 4, Lanai 1 and Kauai and Molokai none. There were 5 new cases diagnosed out of state. The death toll stands at 219.

There have been 13,332 cases on Oahu, 1,332 on Hawaii Island, 414 on Maui, 104 on Lanai, 67 on Kauai, and 17 on Molokai. There have been 94 cases diagnosed out of state.

On Lanai, a stay-at-home order remains in effect after an outbreak that stemmed from large gatherings and household transmission.

About 400 people Lanai on the island were tested Saturday in a second round of surge screening at the old Dole Administration Building, according to Maui County.

Results from the two surge testing events are expected to increase the island's case count as they are reported.

A third surge testing event is scheduled for Saturday.

Honolulu prosecutor-elect prepares for new role

Former Judge Steve Alm will be Honolulu’s next prosecutor. He prevailed last night over rival Megan Kau, claiming more than 50% of the vote in final returns. Alm inherits an office that has been overshadowed in recent years by the Kealoha corruption scandal.

Throughout his campaign, Alm vowed to restore the office’s integrity by bringing transparency, leadership and reform to the department.

He says he’ll begin to prepare for his start in January, but adds there are some things that can’t be done beforehand.

"You have to get in there, get to know the people -- see their strength. Look at reorganizing the office down the road, talking to the deputies, encouraging them, giving them leadership during training with the deputies," he said, "going around and meeting with all the other law enforcement leaders and telling them that a full partner is back -- ‘I want to work with you folks.’

 

"We will make that office a full player. We’ll look at domestic violence cases. We’ll look at human trafficking cases. We’ll try to make sure victims are well served by the way the office is set up."

Alm says he looks forward to doing things differently at the office.

He hopes to attract and retain good people but added that there will obviously be some he will not ask back.

--HPR's Casey Harlow

Lanai votes under pandemic threat

With the recent COVID-19 spike on Lanai and the island under a stay-at-home order, Maui County election officials looked for ways to allow voters to safely cast their ballots. 

The County Clerk’s office relocated Lanai’s sole voter center from the police station to the L?na?i Council District Office. 

"The county clerk, Kathy Kaohu did at the outbreak of COVID, move the collection center to a more open area and a more accessible area, just to be cautious, said state Sen. J. Kalani English represents Lanai as part of his district. 

Lanai residents also got an extension on the mail-in deadline. Voters on other islands were advised to mail in their ballots by Oct. 27. But Lanai voters could send in their ballots as late as 3 p.m. on Election Day. 

English said postal workers at the Lanai City Post Office delivered those ballots directly to county election officials on the island.

English says the increase in COVID-19 cases didn’t significantly impact the residents’ ability to vote safely. Still, he thinks that the virus was likely on voters' minds as they filled out their ballots.

As of today, Lanai had 104 reported cases of COVID.

--HPR's Savannah Harriman-Pote
 

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