People with no underlying conditions make up 3% of Hawaii’s COVID deaths

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 4:13 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The CDC says 6% of the nation’s COVID deaths were individuals with no other health problems.

New data shows Hawaii actually has fewer healthy people dying compared to the rest of the country.

Of the 589 COVID patients who have died in the islands, the Healthcare Association of Hawaii confirms about 17 people had no underlying conditions.

Health officials say COVID is a virus that plays on your weaknesses.

“The more conditions you have or the more severe those conditions are ... the more susceptible or the greater the impact COVID will have on the individual,” said association CEO Hilton Raethel.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 94% of COVID deaths nationwide involved a person who had one or more underlying conditions.

The most common contributors include pneumonia, respiratory failure, heart conditions caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease as well as vascular and unspecified dementia.

Meanwhile, the death rate for healthy people who contract COVID in Hawaii is 50% lower than the national average. One explanation could be that the islands have a significantly higher vaccination rate.

But even with 63% of residents now fully vaccinated, Hawaii hospitals are struggling to take care of an influx of COVID patients.

“The majority of people who end up in our hospitals with COVID are unvaccinated,” Raethel said.

COVID hospitalization had been fairly steady over the last few days, but jumped Tuesday mornig.

A total of 432 COVID patients are currently in the hospital statewide. That’s up by 14 from the previous day and another all-time high.

“Looking at the numbers, 87.5% of those individuals are unvaccinated,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

Green said that hospitals are teetering on the edge of disaster, and he reiterated that if the patient count hits 500 he’ll call for “life-preserving restrictions.”

“Five hundred is a reflection of how much ICU capacity we have. How much staffing we can actually provide for people who are on ventilators and high-flow oxygen,” he said. “It’s also a benchmark for the amount of service we can deliver based on the medication and oxygen and so on.”

The Healthcare Association of Hawaii says about 1% of COVID patients who died in Hawaii were fully vaccinated. That’s a total of 8 people.

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