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Waimea Town Market closes temporarily due to COVID-19 surge

The Waimea Town Market has temporarily closed due to the Big Island’s surge in COVID-19 cases, Parker School announced Wednesday.

The market, which normally runs from 7:30 a.m. to noon every Saturday at Parker School, will reopen when it once again is safe to socially gather.

The market is operated by Waimea Town Market LLC, which rents the campus from Parker School. The school made the decision to temporarily close its campus to the market out of an abundance of caution.

“For the health and safety of everyone, including attendees, vendors, and our greater Waimea community, the decision to temporarily suspend market operation was difficult, important and necessary,” Head of School Stephen Dunn said in a news release. “It is our kuleana to do all that we can as a member of the Waimea community to keep one another safe. It has been increasingly difficult to ensure community safety in the last several weeks. We look forward to welcoming everyone back when it is safe to socially gather again.”

“While we understand temporarily suspending operations of our beloved Town Market will impact many, we support this decision and feel confident that we are acting as a good neighbor in our community,” market manager Blaine Kusler said.

The numbers

Another 455 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases were reported Wednesday by the state Department of Health, including 64 new cases on the Big Island.

Hawaii County has a 9.1% test positivity rate, the highest in the state, compared to a 7.9% positivity rate statewide.

In the past 14 days, 112 new cases have been reported in Waimea, 72 in Honokaa, and 61 in the Waikoloa Village and Puako areas, according to the DOH.

Elsewhere on the Big Island over the past 14 days, 513 infections have been identified in Hilo; 444 in Kailua-Kona; 156 in Keaau; 55 in Mountain View; 81 in Pahoa; 87 in the Captain Cook, Ocean View and Honaunau areas; and 60 in Kealakekua.

As of Wednesday, 39 COVID-positive patients were hospitalized at Hilo Medical Center, 30 of whom were unvaccinated.

There are 11 COVID-positive patients in the hospital’s 11-bed intensive care unit, with 10 on ventilators, HMC said in a post on social media. Eight of those individuals were unvaccinated.

The DOH on Wednesday also reported 13 additional COVID-related deaths, bringing the number of deaths statewide since the start of the pandemic to 602.

Three men on Maui, ages 50-79, were hospitalized and had underlying health conditions when they died. A fourth individual on Maui, a woman over 80, had underlying conditions and died at home.

Eight individuals on Oahu — seven men and one woman ages 30-79 — were hospitalized and had underlying health conditions.

One man over 80 had underlying conditions and died in a care facility.

Community testing is available today from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Kona Community Aquatic Center in Kailua-Kona; and 1-5 p.m. at the Honaunau Rodeo Arena in Captain Cook.

More testing opportunities can be found online at bit.ly/HawaiiCOVIDtesting.

Statewide, 63.4% of the population has been fully vaccinated, and 71.6% have received at least one dose.

In Hawaii County 60% of residents have been fully vaccinated, while 72% have received at least one shot.

A partial list of vaccination sites can be found online at bit.ly/BigIslandvaccines.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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