The Latest: 5 Deaths, 56 New Cases; State Awaiting More Federal Funds For Vaccine Program

Feb 10, 2021

Updated 2/10/21, 12 p.m.

Hawaii is awaiting federal approval of an additional 175 million dollars for its vaccination program against COVID-19.

Governor David Ige says the Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing the funding to states -- adding that the topic came up yesterday in a White House call with the nation's governors.

Ige said that Hawaii is currently getting about 40,000 doses a week of the vaccine, but says the state could administer about double that amount.

"The challenge remains, we are simply not getting enough vaccine," Ige said.

Where we stand

The state Department of Health reported 56 new cases and five new fatalies on Wednesday. 

According to the state's numbers, Oʻahu had 40, Maui 9, Hawaiʻi Island 2, and Kauaʻi, Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi had no new cases. Two residents were diganosed out-of-state.

The latest state count brings the Oʻahu total to 21,423, Hawaiʻi County 2,203, Maui 1,882, Kauaʻi 179, Lānaʻi 109, and Molokaʻi 25. The number of out-of-state cases totals 763.

Since the pandemic began, the state has tallied 26,584 cases. The death toll stands at 423.

Fireworks measures advance at State Legislature

State lawmakers want to crack down on fireworks this legislative session. The House consumer protection and commerce committee on Tuesday discussed four measures proposing stricter firework regulations and penalties.

Among the measures is HB 1246, which further specifies certain violations under the fireworks control law. It may result in citing violators with breaking air pollution and noise control rules.

The state Department of Health testified that it supports the attempt to deter use of illegal fireworks, but have concerns with enforcement. 

Marianne Roscoe of the department's Clean Air Branch says they rely on complaints in order to respond to possible infractions -- which makes enforcement difficult.

"It would be assigned to an inspector to go investigate the situation. But it's hard because it would something that usually would be happening before our investigator would be able to get there," Roscoe said.

"So it's a difficult investigation in that our inspector couldn't see it firsthand."

An amended version of HB1246 passed the House committee.

-- HPR's Casey Harlow