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Another COVID death on Kaua‘i

LIHU‘E — The state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office reported another COVID fatality this week, as a Kaua‘i man in his 80s passed away while hospitalized.

Kaua‘i saw an average of 57 cases a day last week, down from 65 the week prior and 71 the week before that, according to data released Thursday by the DOH. Kaua‘i’s test positivity rate is currently at 22.2%, compared to 18.9% statewide.

Though case counts have seen a two-week decline, they remain relatively high, particularly in long-term-care facilities, said DOH Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman. The actual number of cases is much higher because home tests are typically not reported to DOH, a press release said.

“While we are in high transmission, we recommend wearing a mask indoors in public and in crowded outdoor spaces, staying up to date on COVID vaccines and boosters, and getting tested if you have symptoms,” Berreman said

Statewide, there have been similar declines over the last two weeks, from a seven-day average of 1,151 new cases May 31 to 889 cases June 13. This matches global trends, with the World Health Organization data showing case counts and fatalities on the decline after a spike during the omicron surge in January.

Kaua‘i COVID mortality has been comparatively low, with 28 deaths as a result of the virus, compared to 136 in Maui County, 193 on the Big Island and 1,078 on Honolulu.

According to the DOH COVID dashboard, 54% of the deaths statewide have been those over 70 years old, and 89% have been over 50. Ninety-six percent of those who passed away had at least one underlying medical condition.

Vaccines coming to young kids

After after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously recommended vaccines from Moderna for children under 6 and Pfizer shots for children under 5 this week, the DOH and vaccine partners are preparing to receive and distribute the first shipments of vaccines for young children on island.

Once the FDA issues an emergency-use authorization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide recommendations on each vaccine’s use in this age group, these vaccines will become available, and all Americans over the age of 6 months will be eligible for vaccination.

On Kaua‘i, vaccines for this age group will be administered at Wilcox Medical Center, Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital, Samuel Mahelona Medical Center, Ho‘ola Lahui clinics and Kaiser Permanente Lihu‘e.

Kaua‘i has a vaccination rate of 72% — slightly below the statewide average.

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Guthrie Scrimgeour, reporter, can be reached at 647-0329 or gscrimgeour@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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