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County announces 6 new cases, two active clusters

LIHU‘E — Friday, the Hawai‘i State Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office reported six new cases of COVID-19, including three adults and three children, all residents.

“The source of infection for four of the cases is mainland travel,” Kaua‘i Emergency Management Administrator Elton Ushio reported Friday. “The source of infection for the other two cases is considered community-acquired. Neither of these community-acquired infections are close contacts of previously announced cases. They have no known source of infection.”

These six cases join a spike in cases this last week, which includes 57 active cases on the island.

“It’s a good sign that our cases over the last few days have mostly been in people under quarantine as close contacts to earlier cases, or related to travel,” Kaua‘i District Health Public Health Preparedness Planner Lauren Guest said. “However, we continue to see community spread of disease amongst unvaccinated residents island-wide.”

But many of the new cases have been in children, KDH Officier Dr. Janet Berreman said in a release, which may lead to them missing school with the new academic year starting early next month.

“Children too young to be vaccinated can be infected by unvaccinated family members,” Berreman said. “Students are excited about returning to in-person learning, seeing their friends and teachers, participating in extra-curricular activities. Being vaccinated before school starts will make all of this safer for everyone. Vaccinated students are much less likely to get sick, and if they are identified as close contacts of a case they don’t need to quarantine.”

The island has seen four clusters in places of worship, three in restaurants or bars, three at work locations and two in shelters.

As of a July 8 report by the Department of Health, in the last 14 days, only two of these have been active — a shelter and place of worship.

The office did not release the locations or names of these active clusters.

“People often ask why doesn’t the Department of Health reveal the exact location of a cluster? To protect medical privacy,” Guest said.

Combined, these clusters have accounted for 13 primary or secondary cases. According to a DOH report released July 16, as of June 15, there have been five cases of the more highly transmittable delta variant.
Source: The Garden Island

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