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Kaua‘i COVID-19 update: “Kraken” subvariant in the wastewater

LIHU‘E — The state Department of Health reported a relatively low number of COVID-19 cases last week, with only 34 new cases reported on Kaua‘i between Feb. 28 and March 6.

Kaua‘i averaged five daily cases and had a test positivity of 8.9 percent.

Statewide, there were 510 new cases and seven reported deaths, none of which occurred on Kaua‘i.

There have been four COVID-19 deaths reported on island in the past two months, including a boy under the age of 17.

A sampling of wastewater conducted by the state Department of Health showed a prevalence of the XBB and XBB1.5 strains of the virus on Kaua‘i. Known colloquially as “the kraken” for its rapid spread, the virus is considered by the World Health Organization to be the most transmissible strain yet. But there is no evidence that the strain is more severe than other variants.

In partnership with the state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office, the county will distribute free COVID-19 home test kits at neighborhood centers from Tuesday through Thursday, March 7-9.

Approximately 7,500 COVID-19 home test kits will be distributed, with a limit of five tests per individual or household, on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Free home tests from the federal government are still available to households via mail by visiting or calling 1-800-232-0233.

For a list of vaccination locations on Kaua‘i, visit or call the DOH Kaua‘i District Health Office at 808-241-3495.
Source: The Garden Island

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