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Kaua‘i, state see record-breaking case counts

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i continues to see high case counts, breaking another single-day high with 154 new COVID-19 cases announced Friday, according to the Hawai‘i State Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office.

High cases are being reported across the state, with health officials reporting 3,290 new cases on Friday.

The state more than doubled a previous delta variant record Thursday after reporting nearly 3,500 new cases. The state of about 1.5 million people recorded an additional four deaths Friday. Hawai‘i has reported nearly 1,100 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The seven-day average test positivity rate for the state was more than 15%. On O‘ahu, the state’s most populous island where the majority of cases are being detected, the average positivity rate was over 17%.

Hawai‘i hospital officials have said they are already nearly full with non-coronavirus patients and worry about staffing shortages affecting their ability to care for a possible wave of new COVID-19 patients in early 2022.

State officials and island mayors did not add any new restrictions ahead of the New Year holiday. Most COVID rules were dropped in early December just before the omicron variant arrived. The University of Hawai‘i said it would hold most classes online when the semester begins in January.

More than 700,000 travelers have arrived in Hawai‘i in December, according to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. Hawai‘i requires travelers to be vaccinated or provide a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours before arrival, or face quarantine. The U.S. now requires international travelers to test within 24 hours of their trip, regardless of nationality or vaccination status.

Statewide there have been nearly 110,000 confirmed coronavirus cases throughout the pandemic. There were more than 20,000 active COVID-19 infections in Hawai‘i on New Year’s Eve.

On Kaua‘i, there are 596 active cases, with six hospitalized. To date, the county has recorded 4,159 cumulative cases.

In observance of New Year’s Day, there will be no KDHO COVID-19 news release on Jan. 1. Cases from the holiday will be included in Sunday’s case count.

Pediatric vaccines for those 5 to 11 are available at Walmart, Longs Drugs at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e and Kaiser Permanente.

A free mobile testing van is available for walk-ins from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex in Kapa‘a on Sunday. The testing clinics normally open in Hanalei on Saturdays are closed this week in observance of the holiday, and will reopen next week.

Free drive-thru testing at Lihu‘e Pharmacy is closed on New Year’s Day and will reopen on Sunday, Jan. 2. Appointments can be made at AlohaClear.com.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: The Garden Island

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