The bells of Central Union Church will ring today in memory of the 219 deaths in Hawaii due to COVID-19.
Beginning at noon on All Saints Day, the church plans to ring its tower bells once for each person who has died.
In addition, the church plans to place an empty chair for each of the deaths on the lawn fronting Beretania Street — “a visual marker of the lives lost.”
“We grieve with those families and communities who have lost loved ones and we want to honor them in this way,” the Rev. Brandon Durán, acting senior minister, said in a press release.
Central Union also invited sister churches, as well as all members of the public, to join in honoring these deceased at noon.
Pearl City Community Church also plans to ring its bells.
Hawaii health officials reported three coronavirus-related fatalities and 68 new COVID-19 infections statewide Saturday, bringing the totals since the start of the pandemic to 219 deaths and 15,071 cases.
No further details were immediately available regarding the latest deaths of two Oahu residents and one Maui resident.
The department’s official state death toll includes 170 fatalities on Oahu, 31 on Hawaii island, 17 on Maui, and one Kauai resident who died on the mainland. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency says that the Big Island’s COVID-19 death toll is now 40; however, state health officials have yet to verify coronavirus as a factor in nine of those deaths.
The U.S. coronavirus death toll is over 230,000. The number of confirmed infections in the United States tops 9 million, with 47 states reporting an increasing number of cases.
Saturday’s new infection cases in Hawaii included 46 on Oahu, 15 on the Big Island, one on Maui and six Hawaii residents diagnosed out of state.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
Saturday’s total coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 13,133 on Oahu, 1,274 in Hawaii County, 408 on Maui, 99 on Lanai, 64 on Kauai and 17 on Molokai. There are also 76 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state.
As of Saturday, 3,076 infections were considered active cases statewide, with a total of 11,776 patients classified by health officials as “released from isolation,” or 78% of those infected, according to the state’s official count. The category counts infected people who have met the criteria for being released from isolation. Officials reported 38 new releases.
Honolulu has seen 10,434 patients released from isolation, Hawaii County has had 892 releases, Maui has seen 363 patients released, and Lanai has seen 13 released cases. Kauai has four active infections, and Molokai has two, according to today’s Health Department breakdown.
Of all the confirmed Hawaii cases, 1,105 have required hospitalization, with eight new hospitalizations reported today by state health officials.
Two hospitalizations in the statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 1,103 hospitalizations within the state, 978 have been on Oahu, 65 on the Big Island, 57 on Maui, and one each on Lanai, Molokai and Kauai.
Oahu moved to the less-restrictive Tier 2 of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s four-tier economic recovery plan on Oct. 22, and must stay in that tier for four weeks. To move to Tier 3 no earlier than Nov. 19, Oahu must maintain a seven-day average case count of 49 or fewer, and a seven-day average positivity rate of 2.49% or lower for 14 consecutive days at the end of the four-week period. Saturday’s seven-day average case count is 49 and the positivity rate was 2.0% for Oahu.
“Good job Honolulu, we’re down to 46 cases today from 74 yesterday,” Caldwell tweeted Saturday.