CDC moves Hawaii from low to medium COVID-19 risk

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has moved Hawaii into the yellow, medium-risk category, up from the green, low-risk category for COVID-19, where it had been for weeks.

Honolulu, Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai counties are now listed in yellow on CDC’s community risk map.

Under CDC guidance, those living in medium-risk category communities should have a plan for rapid testing if needed. They should also talk to their health care provider about whether to wear a mask and ask if they are a candidate for treatments such as antiviral pills.

Anyone with a household or social contact at high risk for severe disease should consider wearing a mask when indoors with them.

Wearing a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status is still optional for medium-risk communities, and only recommended for red, high-risk communities.

The Hawaii Department of Health on Wednesday reported 3,370 new COVID-19 infections over the previous week, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 248,405 cases.

Hawaii’s seven-day average for new cases bumped up for the fifth week in a row, to 362. The positivity rate grew for the sixth consecutive week to 9.1%, according to DOH data. There were also 11 more deaths, bringing the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 1,418.

Hospitalizations increased to 51 on Wednesday, up from 36 the previous week, but very few patients — two — were in intensive care.

Also on Wednesday, DOH confirmed the presence of two new omicron subvariants — BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1 — which have driven cases of COVID up in New York.

CDC unveiled new, color-coded metrics in March to determine community risk levels, which take the percent of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, new COVID hospital admissions, and COVID case rates per 100,000 in the past seven days into account.

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