LIHU‘E — The Office of the Mayor announced two new positive COVID-19 test results on Kaua‘i late Friday afternoon, which brings the cumulative total to seven cases for Kaua‘i.
The first new case is an adult visitor who was on Kaua‘i from March 20 to March 24 and fell ill during that time. The adult was tested on March 24, shortly before departing to return home to New York.
The second new positive case is an adult resident who traveled to Las Vegas and fell ill during his trip. He returned to Kaua‘i on March 17 and was tested on March 24. The resident has been home since returning from the trip and remains at home in isolation at this time.
The state Department of Health is working to identify at-risk contacts and advise them of their potential exposure, including the need for quarantine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is managing any potential exposures occurring during airline travel.
Of the total confirmed cases on Kaua‘i, three have recovered, one returned home to the mainland, and three remain in isolation on Kaua‘i.
Meanwhile, Kaua‘i Police Department announced first-day results of the islandwide checkpoints initiated on Thursday in an effort to help mitigate the proliferation of COVID-19 on Kaua‘i, and in accordance with the statewide emergency proclamation and county emergency rules.
“Our officers were extremely professional and informative in their interactions, and I am thankful for their hard work during this challenging time,” said KPD Chief Todd G. Raybuck. “Also, mahalo to the community and those going through the checkpoints for their support, positive feedback and compliance.”
In Po‘ipu, there were only a small number of vehicles that passed through the checkpoint. The officers reported that the small number was likely due to the fact that major hotels are set to close in the area.
At the Kealia checkpoint, most vehicles were kama‘aina traveling for essential work or other essential activities. Any passengers who were identified as conducting non-essential travel were provided verbal warnings and directed to return home or to their hotels. Almost 20 were rental vehicles containing visitors who arrived on the island prior to Thursday’s quarantine order and were advised of the current stay-at-home measures.
In Waimea, contact was primarily made with kama‘aina, who were informed of the new guidelines. Visitors in a total of 13 rental cars who arrived on the island before Thursday were advised to return to their hotel and comply with the new stay-at-home guidelines.
The Hanalei checkpoint was the most trafficked. Approximately 200 vehicles passed through, and about 25 visitors were advised of the stay-at-home measure. Ten residents were advised of their non-essential travel. Several approved delivery trucks were also included in the vehicle count.
No citations or arrests have been made yet in regards to violations of the curfew or stay-at-home orders. However, at some point, enforcement will elevate from warnings to misdemeanor violations, Raybuck said.
“To reiterate, the reason we are doing this is purely for the sake of protecting the health of our island and stop any community spread of COVID-19,” said Raybuck.
“If this virus should get to that point, our health care system is ill-equipped to handle the influx of people who will need beds and ventilators, much less have the resources to assist other ailments at the same time. This is a moment to consider the health of the community as a whole and to re-evaluate what is truly essential,” he said.