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Kaua‘i COVID-19 Q&A: Can we have more information?

Editor’s Note: Questions about stay-at-home orders can be submitted to tinyurl.com/TGIQ-A 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: Do you have to wear a mask if you have asthma? Are there masks that are easier to breathe in?

A: According to the Mayor’s Emergency Rule No. 6 that came out on April 13, everybody over 5 must wear a face covering the nose and mouth outside of the home. Exercising, eating/drinking, while riding in a car with household members, while at the bank or using an ATM, and for those with medical conditions (like asthma) are exceptions to this rule.

Masks must covers the nose and mouth. Masks can be made of fabrics including cotton, silk or linen, and even created out of bandanas, scarves or shirts.

Q: I don’t understand why they do not release the demographic information of COVID-19 cases such as location, age, etc.

A: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule prohibits discussing or sharing information that can be used to identify a patient.

But, the state’s Health Department does release some information, including general geographic locations where confirmed cases on the island are, race to state population, exposure curve and age range. This information is released in such a way that does not directly identify a patient.

According to a map of cases, location-wise in Kaua‘i, cases seem to be concentrated on the north, south and eastern sides of the island, the most cases being attributed to the Lihu‘e area.

As of noon on Monday, statewide there have been 22 confirmed cases in the 0-19 age range; 185 in the 20-39 age range, 193 in the 40-59 age range; and 129 over 60.

This information is updated frequently and can be accessed on the state’s Department of Health website at health.hawaii.gov.

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Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.


Source: The Garden Island

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