7 Deaths, 163 New Virus Cases Statewide; 87 Waiawa Inmates Test Positive In Second Prison Outbreak

Nov 21, 2020

Updated: 11/21/2020, 1:30 p.m. In a second outbreak at a state prison, 87 inmates at the Waiawa Correctional Facility have tested positive and 70 tested negative, according to state Department of Public Safety yesterday. Fifty of the cases were added to the state's daily case numbers of 163, which today returned the count to three digits. Seven deaths were also reported by the state, unrelated to the prison outbreak.

The latest Waiawa testing numbers bring the total positive cases at the facility to 95. Eight cases were previously disclosed.

Inmates who test positive are in medical isolation, the department said in a news update. The remaining inmates have been placed in quarantine.

The state Department of Health is contact tracing, staff are using full personal protective equipment and all inmate movements have been halted to prevent transmission at Waiawa and with other facilities.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell said yesterday that the Waiawa cases will be added to Oahu counts and could affect the easing of restrictions if the numbers for the island remain high over two weeks. Oahu is now in Tier 2 of the city reopening strategy, meaning gatherings are limited to 5 for Thanksgiving.

Surge testing continues at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona, where 1,079 Hawaii inmates are imprisoned. One Hawaii inmate died on Tuesday from COVID-19 and 531 have tested positive, 7 of whom are active. 

All inmates who tested negative are in quarantine as a precaution. DPS has set up an information hotline at 808-587-1421.

Testing continues as well at the Oahu Community Correctional Center, where a major outbreak occurred in the summer. As of yesterday, 410 inmates who tested positive have recovered and 7 remain active. Among the OCCC staff, 93 tested positive and recovered and 9 remain active cases. 

Where we stand

Of the 163 new statewide cases reported by the state Department of Health today, 123 are on Oahu and 50 from Waiawa. Because of the department's two-day delay in issuing daily numbers, they represent Thursday's counts.

Hawaii County reported 15 new cases, Maui 12 cases, Kauai 4 cases, and none for Lanai and Molokai. Nine new cases were reported out of state. One Oahu case was removed from the counts based on updated information.

Six of the seven new deaths were men, the health department said in a news release. Two occurred more than two weeks ago and were reported after the department received new information from death records.

One of the seven deaths was a man in his 50s who died at home and had no underlying health conditions. Five were men in their 60s to 80. Two also died at home and three were hospitalized. One woman in her 70s who had been hospitalized with medical conditions also died.