Third coronavirus-related death reported in Hawaii; total number of cases increase to 319

By HNN Staff | April 3, 2020 at 10:53 AM HST – Updated April 3 at 12:20 PM

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) – An elderly Hawaii man who tested positive for coronavirus after returning from Washington state in early March has died of the disease, state Health Department officials confirm.

It’s the third reported coronavirus-related death in the state since the pandemic began, and the second in as many days. All three victims were residents of Oahu.

The man’s family identified the patient as Art Whistler, 75, a well-known ethnobotanist in the state. He had been hospitalized at Kaiser Moanalua for weeks.

Meanwhile on Friday, the state reported 34 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 319.

Here’s the county-by-county breakdown:

  • Oahu: 237
  • Maui: 36
  • Big Island: 20
  • Kauai: 13
  • Pending: 11 (0 new; some previous “pending” cases have been assigned to counties)
  • Diagnosed out of state: 2 (0 new)

There have been more than 10,000 coronavirus tests conducted statewide.

Meanwhile, a least 18 coronavirus patients have required hospitalization so far.

And 79 people have been “released from isolation” after falling ill. That means it’s been three days since they’ve exhibited symptoms or seven since they first got sick, whichever is longest.

Hawaii’s case count has more than tripled since March 26. The first Hawaii case of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, was reported March 6.

In a news release Friday, the state Health Department offered condolences to Whistler’s family.

“His death, the third death in Hawaii, is a tragic reminder of the virulent and contagious nature of this virus,” said Bruce Anderson, state health director. “We must all work together to stop the spread of this deadly disease.”

Whistler was just the second confirmed case of coronavirus in Hawaii. The Health Department announced the case March 8, saying at the time he was “very, very ill.”

DOH officials said he got sick on March 2 and returned to Hawaii on March 4, flying from Seattle to Honolulu. After returning to Oahu, he sought care at an urgent care facility but was not tested for coronavirus.

On March 7, paramedics with EMS were called and the man was transported from his home to Kaiser Moanalua. It was at that point that he was tested for coronavirus.

This story will be updated.

Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Read More