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Kaua‘i COVID-19 update: 61 cases, DOH warns of influenza as restrictions relax

HONOLULU — Data released on Wednesday by the state Department of Health showed 61 new COVID-19 cases on Kaua‘i from Nov. 1 to Nov. 7, and 1,288 new cases statewide.

Kaua‘i’s seven-day COVID-19 case average declined slightly last week to seven cases a day, compared with 10 cases a day the prior week.

The test positivity rate on Kaua‘i was 7.4 percent, compared with 5.3 percent statewide.

No COVID-19 deaths were reported in the last week.

As COVID-19 restrictions have relaxed statewide, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus cases have increased, the state Department of Health reported Thursday.

This is in line with trends observed across the country.

In 2020 and 2021, RSV and influenza cases declined sharply, as COVID-19 mitigation measures also prevented the spread of these viruses, the DOH said.

RSV cases typically increase in the fall and peak in winter. This year’s total testing volume (positive and negative tests) and percent positivity are both increasing quickly early in the season.

Out of an average of 1,858 RSV tests performed per week statewide in recent weeks, 23 percent were positive. The DOH says this indicates a high level of both detected and undetected RSV infection in the community.

Influenza activity in Hawai‘i remains low but is increasing. Out of 3,886 specimens tested for influenza statewide in the week of Oct. 16 to 22, some 5.8 percent were positive. During a similar time frame, statewide COVID-19 test positivity was 6.4 percent out of 14,927 tests performed.

“Many respiratory viruses are circulating in our community, including RSV, COVID-19 and influenza,” said DOH State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble. “We urge all eligible individuals to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and influenza, and take simple preventive measures that stop the spread of respiratory viruses.”

People concerned about the flu or other respiratory viruses can take simple preventive measures, such as staying away from others who are sick, staying home if they’re sick, washing their hands, covering their cough and wearing masks.

DOH recommends flu shots for individuals 6 months and older. COVID-19 vaccinations are recommended for everyone 6 months and older, and COVID-19 bivalent boosters are recommended for everyone age 5 and older.

For a list of testing locations, visit kauai.gov/COVIDTest.

For more information about vaccine providers and the services they offer, people can visit the vaccine-finder map at hawaiicovid19.com/vaccine.

For a list of vaccination locations on Kaua‘i, visit kauai.gov/vaccine or call the DOH Kaua‘i District Health Office at 808-241-3495.

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Guthrie Scrimgeour, reporter, can be reached at 808-647-0329 or gscrimgeour@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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