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County, HIDOE COVID cases decline; schools receive N95 masks donation

LIHU‘E- The Hawai‘i State Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office announced 118 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, Feb. 4. Yesterday’s cases bring the number of active cases to 548, with 13 hospitalized, and 10,871 cumulative cases. Kaua‘i’s cumulative case count includes 10,792 confirmed locally, eight probable, and 71 positive cases diagnosed elsewhere, as they received their pre-travel test results after arriving on island.

The KDOH has reported a steady decline in cases over the past two weeks, which has been visible in public schools.

The Hawai‘i Department of Education reported COVID cases fell by nearly 50% from the week prior. Between Jan. 28- Feb. 3 HIDOE reported 1,331 cases with 162 of the cases coming from Kaua‘i schools.

It is unclear if the decline in COVID cases has resulted in a decrease in unfilled substitute teacher positions because of a one-week delay in HIDOE’s substitute teacher data.

As of the week of Jan. 24 the substitute teacher shortage remained high. For the week of Jan. 24, there were 1,621 substitute teacher jobs available on average per day across the Department’s 257 schools with an average of 259 unfilled jobs per day.

A recent donation of 50,000 N95 masks from Hawai‘i Pacific Health will soon be distributed to provide some additional protection for HIDOE staff but will only reach a fraction of the total 185,000 students and staff that report to campuses statewide. The masks will be prioritized for employees in health-related or higher-risk positions state-wide.

As of Friday, HIDOE was unable to comment on how many masks would go to Kaua‘i HIDOE employees.

More detailed information on new cases is available on the Hawai‘i State Department of Health’s COVID-19 data dashboard. To view the dashboard, visit health.hawaii.gov.

The most updated information about HIDOE COVID cases can be found at hawaiipublicschools.org

For more information on the county’s COVID-19 response, visit kauai.gov/COVID-19.

Due to the high volume of cases, the Department of Health case investigators will generally contact you several days after you receive a positive test.

With the shortened isolation period, in some instances, case investigators will not be able to reach you before the end of your isolation period. As soon as you receive a positive result, you should isolate at home and notify your close contacts and workplace or school.

Do not wait to hear from a case investigator. Isolation and quarantine guidance are available at the DOH website: Home-Isolation-and-Quarantine-Guidance.pdf (hawaii.gov).

For information about isolation and quarantine, visit the CDC’s website at cdc.gov.

Vaccine and Testing

Free vaccination is offered islandwide. Vaccinations are available to anyone 5 years of age or older and are free, safe, and effective.For details on the vaccination sites, visit www.kauai.gov/vaccine.

Free testing is also available islandwide. For a full list of testing sites and more details, visit www.kauai.gov/covidtest.

Please note that the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention COVID Testing Center is no longer running out of tickets for testing by 9 a.m. Tests are available for the public. Upon arrival at the test center, you will receive an appointment time to return later in the day. Appointments are given on a first-come, first-served basis. You must wait until your ticketed time to be tested.

The Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall testing center is limited to 500 tests per day, and the free mobile testing van is limited to 100 tests per day.
Source: The Garden Island

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