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Hurricane Douglas bears down on Hawaii as pandemic flares

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Hurricane Douglas bears down on Hawaii as pandemic flares

HONOLULU (AP) — The first hurricane to threaten the United States since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is presenting new challenges to Hawaii officials long accustomed to tropical storms

HONOLULU (AP) — The first hurricane to threaten the United States since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is presenting new challenges to Hawaii officials long accustomed to tropical storms.

For example, how do you secure enough shelter space when people have to stay at least six feet apart from one another? What happens when someone shows up at a shelter with a fever?

Late Thursday, Hurricane Douglas was 1,025 miles (1,810 kilometres) southeast of Hilo and packing maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour.

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It’s expected to weaken as it passes over cooler water but meteorologists warn strong winds, heavy rainfall and dangerous surf could afflict the entire state beginning on Sunday.

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The storm approaches as Hawaii grapples with increasing COVID-19 numbers.

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On Thursday, the state reported 55 newly confirmed cases, its highest single-day increase since the pandemic began

“I never thought in 30 years of doing this I’d be answering medical questions,” said John Cummings, the public information office for Honolulu Emergency Management, underscoring the odd position authorities have found themselves in

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