LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i is leading the state in new COVID-19 case counts per capita.
“Case counts on Kaua‘i have risen over the past two weeks, and we now have the highest rate of COVID in the state based on population,” Kaua‘i Deputy District Health Officer Lauren Guest said Monday. “Over the past week, our average daily case count was 17 cases per day.”
Monday, the Kaua‘i District Health Office reported 15 new cases, all residents, including five are children and 10 are adults. One of the cases is related to mainland travel. The remaining 14 cases are considered community-acquired. Eleven of the community-acquired infections are close contacts of a previously announced case or are tied to an active cluster. The remaining three cases have no known source of infection as investigators have been unable to reach them after repeated attempts or they have refused to provide information.
As of Monday, the county has 129 active COVID-19 cases, with 11 hospitalized. According to the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency, one of these patients is in the intensive care unit.
“It is critically important now for all of us to wear masks indoors, maintain physical distance, and avoid crowds,” Kaua‘i Emergency Management Administrator Elton Ushio said. “If you feel sick, please do not go to work or school.”
The county currently has several active clusters, including one tied to King’s Chapel Nawiliwili, which has been the source of 36 cases. The Department of Health is urging those who attended events or functions on or after Oct. 31 to get tested. Exposures have been linked to church services, youth groups and a truck-or-treat event.
The cluster at King’s Chapel increased from 16 cases when first detected a week ago, including four secondary cases in household contacts. More cases are expected to be identified as the investigation and testing continue.
“We will work with anyone who tests positive to minimize their risk of exposing others, and we will assist with accessing care, including monoclonal antibody treatment to decrease severity of illness,” Kauai‘ District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman said. “Early treatment with monoclonal antibody is particularly effective and important for those who are not vaccinated.”
Officials are also monitoring clusters at four other occupational settings and one social gathering, Guest said.
This week, the KDHO is starting neighborhood clinics for children aged 5 to 11. Walk-ins will be accepted starting this Wednesday at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center from 4 to 6 p.m. and the Hanapepe Neighborhood Center on Friday from the same time.
The KDHO clinic will then move to the Hanalei Neighborhood Center from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday and the Kilauea Neighborhood Center from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Other pediatric vaccination clinics include the Wilcox Medical Center, which is open on Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m., with appointments available at wilcoxhealth.org/vaccine.
Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital will host a walk-in clinic this Wednesday from 2 to 5 p.m. And Ho‘ola Lahui will be at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center and at Isenberg park from 9 to 11 a.m., at both locations.
Keiki appointments can also be made at the Kaiser Permanente Lihu‘e Clinic on weekdays during business hours by visiting KP.org, or at the Longs Lihu‘e location in Kukui Grove seven days a week at cvs.com/vaccine.
A list of vaccination sites can be found at kauai.gov/vaccine.
Free testing is available at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e, weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. If there is a wait, you will receive a ticket with a time to return for your test. Arrive anytime the clinic is open to receive a timed ticket; no need to arrive early.
Testing performed at the Convention Hall and through the mobile testing van is rapid PCR. Same-day results are sent via email.
A full list of free testing locations and hours can be found at kauai.gov/COVIDtest.
Source: The Garden Island