General News

Casey Harlow / HPR

Some local tech companies are landing big contracts with the City & County of Honolulu’s for transit work.

spooky_kid from Pixabay

Many local businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Honolulu, bars and restaurants are among the hardest hit, and that is having a domino effect on local craft breweries.

Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

The state Department of Health is working to increase contact tracing after Gov. David Ige put a new person in charge of the effort following mounting criticism of the program.

AP Photo/Caleb Jones

Updated: 8/14/2020, 2:22 p.m.


The Hawaii Department of Health reported 233 COVID-19 cases today, down from yesterday's record 355 cases. The number of Oahu Community Correctional Center inmates testing positive has reached 124. No deaths were reported.


The Hawaiʻi Supreme Court will hear arguments today on a potential second round of inmate releases at an Oʻahu jail, where more than 80 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. The state Public Defenders’ office filed the petition with the high court after hearing news of the spread of the coronavirus in the overcrowded Oʻahu Community Correctional Center.

Catherine Cruz/Hawaii Public Radio

Casting a ballot in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs election is a right shared by all Hawaiʻi voters - both Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian. But the consistently high number of blank votes cast in the OHA races show that while everyone can vote for OHA, it's certainly not the custom.

AP Photo/Marina Riker

Some Hawaii hospitals are getting hit harder than others with the surge in COVID-19 cases. But the Healthcare Association of Hawaii that represents hospitals has a plan: it will re-distribute patients if needed so facilities aren’t overrun.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Updated: 8/13/2020, 10:33 a.m.

COVID-19 cases are surging among prison inmates and expanding among the homeless, both of whose living conditions make spread of the virus especially difficult to control. According to the state Department of Health today, cases at the Oahu Community Correctional Center now number 92 inmates and 24 adult correctional officers who have tested positive. Nineteen homeless in Oahu shelters and related programs have done so as well. The OCCC numbers helped push the state daily total today to a record 355 cases. Two Oahu men also died, health officials said. That brought Hawaii's coronavirus death count to 40.

Cory Lum / Civil Beat

New reporting out yesterday from Hawaii Public Radio shows that the state Department of Health significantly exaggerated its capacity to perform contact tracing, while downplaying challenges facing the program.

In an interview with HPR yesterday, Gov. David Ige was asked if Health Director Bruce Anderson and State Epidemiologist Sarah Park still have his confidence.

Chief Mass Communication Specialist Keith Deviney / U.S. Navy

The head of the U.S. military's Indo-Pacific Command has said that service members and their families represent about 7% of the coronavirus cases in Hawaii.

Updated: 8/12/2020, 5:36 p.m.

Seven more Oahu Community Correctional Center inmates have tested positive, bringing the total to 16, the Hawaii Department of Public Safety said today.

AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

Updated: 8/11/2020, 10:05 a.m.

The state Department of Health’s contact tracing has failed to keep up with the burgeoning numbers of COVID-19 cases and key state senators are calling the department’s bluff on officials' claims that they are managing with the workers they have and are hiring.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim was voted into retirement by Big Island voters in Saturday's 2020 primary election. Kim says he was surprised by the loss. But in reflecting on the last four years, he says he wouldn’t change a thing.

Casey Harlow / Hawaii Public Radio

Updated: 8/11/2020, 5:26 p.m.

Where we stand

The Hawaii Department of Health reported 118 new cases of COVID-19 today, the 13th straight day of triple-digit daily cases. The latest cases bring the state total to 3,756.

Pkd2016 / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu plans to establish a new unit dedicated to treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney

Honolulu voters have narrowed down a crowded city prosecutor's race to two candidates.

Kai Kahele

Kai Kahele was prepared to do the unthinkable: take on an incumbent from his own party for a U.S. House seat.

He felt so strongly that Hawaii residents were being hurt by the presidential ambitions of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard that he announced early on he would challenge his fellow Democrat.

Then, just months after Kahele got in the race, Gabbard announced she wouldn’t seek re-election to the House seat she had held since 2013 and would instead focus on her campaign for the White House.

AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

The Hawaii Department of Health reported 152 new cases today, bringing the state's total case count to 3,498. Oahu had most of the new cases. Out of total, 3,111 cases are on Oahu, 185 on Maui County, 131 on Hawaii County, and 48 on Kauai County. There have been 23 residents diagnosed outside of the state.

State of Hawaii, Office of Elections

Update: 8/9/2020, 11:50 a.m.

After a strong mail-in turnout reversing years of low participation, Saturday's primary election results show former TV executive Rick Blangiardi headed to a general election runoff in the Honolulu mayor's race against Keith Amemiya, the one-time high school sports association head. On Hawaii Island, incumbent Mayor Harry Kim lost to challengers Mitch Roth and Ikaika Marzo who move on to the runoff in November.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Oahu public schools will go to 100% distance learning for at least four weeks when classes resume on Aug. 17, Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced yesterday. After an assessment, the state plans to transition to a blended learning program of distance learning and in-person classes starting on Sept. 14.

AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy

State Sen. Kai Kahele is favored to win the Democratic Party’s nomination to represent Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District in Saturday’s primary election.

The seat is currently held by U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat who decided not to run for reelection so she could focus on her presidential campaign, which was ultimately unsuccessful.

AP Photo/Caleb Jones

Updated: 8/8/2020, 3:36 p.m.

The Hawaii Department of Health today reported 231 new COVID-19 cases and 1 death. The latest death is an Oahu man older than 60, the department said. He is the state's 31st fatality from the coronavirus.

Casey Harlow / HPR

Among the many changes that have been sparked by the coronavirus is care for the elderly. And that has led to changes for those who provide home health care here in Hawaii.

Hawaii Department of Health

While Pacific Islanders make up just 4% of Hawaii's population, they represent 27% of the state's newly confirmed coronavirus cases, according to state Department of Health data released. Two months ago, their share was 13%.

Catherine Cruz/HPR

Hawaiʻi’s current surge in COVID-19 cases could halt the state’s plan of rolling out the welcome mat to tourists next month. And even if tourism resumes, thereʻs no guarantee that visitors will feel safe enough to return or that residents will be assured that tourists are relatively coronavirus free.

prayitno.hadinata / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

Updated: 8/7/2020, 3:46 p.m.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced today that Oahu public schools will go to 100% distance learning for at least four weeks when classes resume on Aug. 17. After an assessment, the state hopes to transition to a blended learning plan of distance learning and in-person classes starting on Sept. 14.

Sandee Oshiro/HPR

Updated 8/6/20, 5:30 p.m.

Voter turnout for the 2020 primary is on its way to surpassing participation in both the 2016 and 2018 elections across the state.

AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy

Attorneys argued before the Hawaii Supreme Court on Wednesday over how much lawmakers should allow the public to weigh in on legislation as laws are being drafted and voted on.

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Updated: 8/6/2020, 6:22 p.m.

Starting Tuesday, the 14-day mandatory quarantine for interisland travel will be reinstated, Gov. David Ige announced today. Restrictions on Oahu also will return, including closure of city and state parks and beaches starting tomorrow at midnight and extending to Sept. 4.

Casey Harlow / HPR

Primary day for the 2020 elections is this Saturday in Hawaii and 15 candidates are running to succeed the two-term mayor, Kirk Caldwell.