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3rd fatality, 26 new COVID cases seen Friday

LIHU‘E — The state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office reported Kaua‘i’s third fatality from COVID-19 and announced 26 new cases on Friday.

The fatality was a male Kaua‘i resident in his 70s who was hospitalized on O‘ahu.

“We are saddened to report the third death of a Kaua‘i resident as a result of COVID-19,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami. “We extend our sincere warmth, prayers and aloha to the family and loved ones of the individual for this painful loss to our community.”

Friday’s cases consist of three visitors and 23 residents. Of the 26 cases, six are children and 20 are adults. Ten of the cases are related to travel — eight mainland and two interisland. The remaining 16 cases are considered community-acquired. Fifteen of them are close contacts of previously announced cases or tied to a new restaurant cluster identified by the DOH Friday. The last community-acquired infection has no known source of infection.

All active cases are in isolation, and close contacts are being identified, offered testing and directed to quarantine. Investigations are ongoing.

Daily case counts continue to rise rapidly, despite the DOH’s efforts to perform comprehensive case investigation and contact tracing.

“If you test positive, please don’t wait to hear from the Department of Health before taking action: isolate yourself at home, and let those you’ve been in contact with know that they’ve been exposed,” said Dr. Janet Berreman, head of the Kaua‘i District Health Office. “Your close contacts should quarantine and plan to be tested. Your prompt action makes a difference.”

Friday’s cases bring the number of active cases to 87, with two hospitalized, and 676 cumulative cases.

Anyone with symptoms or feeling sick should isolate themselves immediately, stay away from household members and not go out — including to work or school — unless seeking testing or getting health care. Those who have been vaccinated should still be tested if they believe they may have been exposed or if they feel sick.

Many cases are in residents who have traveled. Anyone planning a trip should be vaccinated before departing. Whether vaccinated or not, follow Hawai‘i’s prudent rules and wear a mask in crowded indoor settings. Officials advice getting tested three to five days after returning.

Vaccination is free and widely available on the island, including on weekends and evenings and at pop-up vaccination opportunities at community sites.

Many vaccination sites accept walk-ins. Residents aged 18 and older are eligible for any vaccine available at pharmacy, hospital and clinic locations. The Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for use in those 12 years of age and older, and is available at Wilcox Medical Center, Lihu‘e Longs and Puhi Safeway. For details on the vaccination sites, visit kauai.gov/vaccine.

Free testing is available at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Additionally, a free mobile testing van is available for walk-ins from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center on Wednesdays, Kīlauea Neighborhood Center on Thursdays, Kalaheo Neighborhood Center on Fridays, Hanalei Neighborhood Center on Saturdays and Kapa‘a Neighborhood Center on Sundays. Testing performed at the convention hall and through the mobile testing van is rapid PCR. Same-day results are sent via email.

Testing is also available through primary care physicians, hospitals and urgent-care clinics. Contact those providers directly for more information. For more details, visit kauai.gov/covidtest.

For more information on the county’s COVID-19 response, visit kauai.gov/COVID-19.
Source: The Garden Island

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