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The Latest: 2 Deaths, 100 New Cases; Judiciary Asks Lawmakers Not To Cut Budget

AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy
The House of Representatives convenes at the Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.

Updated 1/28/21, 12 p.m.

The state judiciary is asking the legislature to not decrease its operating budget for the next year.

Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald highlighted the strain the pandemic has put on the judicial system during his State of the Judiciary address on Wednesday.

Recktenwald says it has hurt efforts to support victims, as well as programs that keep the community safe -- such as mental health and substance abuse services.

He noted the judiciary's budget has decreased over the last decade, and now accounts for less than 2% of the overall state's budget. He warned further cuts would have an impact.

"With 2,200 criminal jury trials pending on O?ahu alone and many hundred more on the neighbor islands, it is imperative that we have the resources we need to fulfill the obligation of a speedy trial," Recktenwald said.

"The demand for our services will only increase as criminal trials return to full speed, emergency order citation cases makes their way through the system, eviction matters resume and as other impacts of the pandemic, such as increases in domestic violence and sex trafficking become even more evident."

Recktenwald says there were 60,000 COVID-related citations in 2020. In comparison, there were only 20,000 citations issued in 2019.

-- HPR's Casey Harlow

Where we stand

The state Department of Health reported 100 new cases and two new fatalities on Thursday.

According to the state's numbers, O?ahu had 65, Maui 21, Hawai?i Island 7, and Kaua?i, Lanai and Moloka?i had no new cases. 5 resident was diagnosed out of state.

The latest state count brings the O?ahu total to 20,707, Hawai?i County 2,139, Maui 1,682, Kaua?i 178, Lanai 106, and Moloka?i 25. The number of out-of-state cases totals 703.

Since the pandemic began, the state has tallied 25,541 cases. The death toll stands at 406.

Free COVID tests for O?ahu teachers

Free COVID testing is now available for teachers on O?ahu.

The City County of Honolulu is working with the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii Consortium to provide tests at the airport and in Waikiki.

The mayor's office says the PCR tests are available at the airport from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., and at the Hawaiian Monarch Hotel from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Test results will be provided within six hours, and this is open to all Oahu educators.

You can register for a test by goign online to

Kalawao gets COVID-19 vaccines

The state Department of Health delivered and administered COVID-19 vaccines to residents and employees at the Kalaupapa Settlement of Kalawao County on Moloka?i this week.

Kalawao County reported its first case of COVID-19 in early December. The case was contained without community transmission. It is the last county in the United States in which someone tested positive for the virus.

A health department team will return to Kalaupapa in four weeks to administer the second dose of the Moderna vaccine.

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