Friday, July 23, 2021

COVID cases spike, lead in 93 school drinking fixtures, missile tests planned off Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Spike in COVID infections driven by delta variant, social gatherings and the unvaccinated, officials say. An alarming spike in the daily coronavirus case count in Hawaii to 243 on Thursday was driven by the highly transmissible delta variant as well community spread mostly by unvaccinated individuals, health officials said. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Spike in COVID-19 cases raises concerns about in-person schooling. School is less than a week and a half away, and many parents still aren’t sure exactly what to expect. The recent spike in COVID-19 cases is causing some to reevaluate whether they want their child to return to in-person classes. KHON2.

Tests find lead in 93 drinking water fixtures at Hawaii public schools.
Elevated concentrations of lead were found in 93 public school faucets and drinking fountains in testing across Hawaii over the past several months. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Mayors discuss potential strategy moving forward amid spike in coronavirus cases in Hawaii. With the rise in cases comes the ongoing challenge of getting more people vaccinated. KHON2.

July 22, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 243 Cases, 3 Deaths. The confirmed cases included: 135 on O‘ahu (+11 probable); 52 on Hawai‘i Island (-2 probable); 10 on Maui (+4 probable); eight on Kaua‘i; and 25 in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.

Oahu

Jill Biden To Visit Vaccine Clinic In Waipahu Sunday. The first lady will travel to Honolulu on her return from the Tokyo Olympics. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Despite COVID surge, Blangiardi says he has no plans to bring back tougher restrictions. Despite the recent surge in COVID cases, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said there are no plans to tighten restrictions on businesses and gatherings on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Calls for more COVID vaccinations are failing to get through.
On Thursday, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi warned unvaccinated Oahu residents they are likely to become infected and get “very sick,” especially from the more virulent delta variant. Star-Advertiser.

Emergency Calls Are Back To Pre-Pandemic Levels On Oahu. Here’s How EMS Is Coping. The return of tourists has brought an increase in medical emergencies and ocean and hiking rescues. Civil Beat.

HART’s Expecting Fewer Riders — Even Absent The Pandemic. The most recent rail ridership estimates are down almost 18%, largely based on a pre-pandemic drop in bus ridership. Civil Beat.

The Problem With Honolulu’s Single-Use Plastic Ban At Restaurants. Restaurants across Oahu are more than three months into a phaseout of single-use plastics, but there’s still nowhere on the island that can compost most of the single-use compostable utensils, cups, and takeout containers that businesses are supposed to offer in place of plastic. Civil Beat.

State inspectors trap skunk at Honolulu Harbor 1st spotted aboard ship from San Diego. A live skunk was captured at Honolulu Harbor on Wednesday after being spotted in the area the day before. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Court to hear arguments over use of police during TMT protests. The Hawaii Supreme Court will hear arguments next month over whether the county overstepped its bounds by requesting neighbor islands’ police forces to assist in responding to the 2019 Thirty Meter Telescope protest. Tribune-Herald.

Council Planning Committee delays subdivision vote. Owners of a 4-acre North Kona parcel will have to wait a little longer before they’ll know whether the County Council will give them permission to rezone it from agriculture to urban and subdivide it into six residential lots. West Hawaii Today.

Pālamanui Campus Reserve Proposed In Kona. The State DLNR and the University of Hawaiʻi want to collaboratively steward and manage the 706 acres of lowland dry forest. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Bill would regulate pesticide use on Maui County property. A bill that would reduce and manage pesticides and fertilizers used on county property passed out of a Maui County Council committee on Wednesday. Maui News.

Council mulls tax tiers for hotels and resorts. A Maui County Council committee is considering a bill that would create property tax rate tiers for hotels and resorts, potentially setting the groundwork for higher taxes for pricier properties. Maui News.

Study Finds Lead in Water from 37 Fixtures at 12 Maui County Public Schools. In Maui County, 37 fixtures at 12 public schools, and two fixtures at a single childcare facility, were identified as having levels above the 15 parts per billion threshold for lead concentration in water. Maui Now.

Maui County Hotels Occupancy Climbs to 79% for June, Near Pre-Pandemic Level. The strong recovery for Maui County hotels continues with occupancy for June 2021 climbing to 79.2 percent, which is only 1.4 percentage points less than it was in June 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic led to the abrupt closure of most of Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry. Maui Now.

Kauai

Pacific Missile Range Facility 2 tests to be held on Kauai. The Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai is expected to soon see two big missile defense tests as the United States seeks to counter a rapidly arming China. Star-Advertiser.

KIUC renewables, reliability rose in 2020 despite revenue hit. The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative chalked up a string of accomplishments in 2020 despite a pandemic-related drop in revenue, according to President and CEO David Bissell, who spoke at the 19th annual KIUC membership meeting held online Wednesday. Garden Island.

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