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Kaua‘i COVID-19 Q&A: Any cases on Niihau

Editor’s Note: Questions about stay-at-home orders can be submitted to and The Garden Island staff will do our best to find you an answer by contacting county officials and Kauai District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman. Be aware these answers are informed with the latest directives from officials and can change as official rules and recommendations change. Contact the Hawai‘i Department of Health or your physician for official COVID-19 symptoms and steps to take if you think you have the virus.

Q: Have you heard of any COVID-19 incidence on Niihau?

A: According to the Department of Health’s Hawai‘i COVID-19 Map, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 on Niihau. The map continues to show at least one case in every part of the island with the exception of the most western side.

Q: May people sunbathe on their own property or swim in a private swimming pool with family? With friends as long as the number in the pool or around the pool is limited and social distancing is maintained?

A: A statewide stay-at-home order remains in place through the end of the month. This order requires people to limit activities and stay at home unless you are an essential worker or are leaving the house for the following essential activities: health care, purchasing food, medicine or gasoline, taking care of the elderly, minors, and those with disabilities, returning to a place of residence outside of Hawai‘i, picking up educational materials, receiving meals and outdoor exercise.

Using your own property to sunbathe and using a private pool with household members is allowed, however, having friends present creates an unnecessary risk.

As of April 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread through pools, hot tubs or spas, COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person. Some studies suggest that it can be spread by those not showing symptoms. The CDC recommends avoiding all close contact and to stay at home as much as possible to put distance between yourself and others. Inviting friends over can put both them and you at risk.

Q: Can you provide guidance on whether wearing gloves is recommended when conducting activities in the community (shopping, driving, delivering food, picking up take out, etc.)?

A: This answer is from Dr. Janet Berreman: Gloves are not recommended for daily community activities. Remember that the virus doesn’t enter our body through our skin, but rather through our respiratory tract and eyes, nose, and mouth. Gloves can pick up germs from surfaces just as easily as your hands can, and touching your eyes, nose or mouth with gloved hands is the same as touching eyes, nose and mouth with bare hands—it can transmit disease! Gloves are a lot harder to wash than your hands are. So rather than wearing gloves, remember to keep your hands away from your face, wash your hands frequently with soap and water—especially first thing when you get home after running errands—and use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. Many businesses are making it easy by having hand sanitizer available for customers. Mahalo to those who are doing so.


Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or

Source: The Garden Island

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