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COVID-19 reinfections on the rise

LIHU‘E — For the period of March 5, 2020 to Sept. 26 this year, there were 467 COVID-19 reinfections on Kaua‘i, according to the state Department of Health.

The DOH is enhancing the Hawai‘i COVID-19 data dashboard to include reinfections. The percentage of COVID-19 cases involving individuals who had a prior infection is growing over time, and now accounts for about 10% of new confirmed cases.

“The data on reinfections underscores what we have been saying: that limited immunity from previous infection only lasts so long,” said Dr. Sarah Kemble, DOH state epidemiologist.

”Regardless of whether a person has had COVID-19 in the past, they should stay up to date on their vaccinations and boosters to get increased protection from severe illness and hospitalization,” she said.

The updated total case count published on the data dashboard Wednesday includes every confirmed positive reported to DOH since the first reinfection was recorded in Sept. 2020 as long as the second case happened at least 90 days after the first. Multiple positive tests within a 90-day period are counted only once.

“Reinfections were rare early in the pandemic. Reinfection statistics were relatively insignificant,” she said in a DOH press release. “However, the percentage of COVID-19 cases involving people who have had prior infection has increased over time. Reinfections now account for about 10% of all new COVID-19 cases in Hawai‘i,” Kemble said.

There have been 10,995 reinfections dating back to Sept. 2020 when the first reinfection was recorded. Adding the 10,995 reinfections to the 344,964 cases involving unique individuals brings the total case count to 355,959.

For additional information on reinfections, see the COVID-19 Reinfection Data Report posted on the COVID-19 Data Reports page,
Source: The Garden Island

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