Household cluster confirmed

LIHU‘E — Seven additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified on Kaua‘i among the quarantined contacts of the man who was confirmed positive with the virus on June 18, and health officials are busy tracing contacts of those individuals.

Saturday, the state Department of Health announced the results of initial contact tracing, which identified the seven additional cases. All of the people who tested positive are household members with the previous case, and were already in quarantine when they were tested Friday.

Saturday, state DOH Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman said her team is continuing their contact tracing of the household cluster this weekend and identification of additional contacts.

“We are working closely with the affected families to limit the spread of disease while also making sure that their health and well-being are protected,” Berreman said in a Saturday public address. “Fortunately, no one requires hospitalization at this time. In fact, today’s newly identified cases are currently either asymptomatic or only very mildly ill.”

She highlighted progress in testing, including the turn-around time for test results now being down to about one day and more than 50 trained contact tracers in the DOH office.

“Isolation and quarantine facilities are in place, our health-care providers are accustomed to managing COVID patients, and our hospitals have increased their ICU (intensive care unit) and ventilator capacity. As we move forward with more activities, and in particular with more travel, we will no doubt see more cases — so we will put our new skills and capacities to good use,” Berreman said.

Mayor Derek Kawakami echoed expectations of more virus cases on the island in a Saturday statement about the cluster: “We expected COVID-19 would return to our island, so this is not a surprise,” restating Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-advised countermeasures like hand washing and mask wearing.

”However, the large number of contacts identified by the investigation is concerning, and it reinforces our need to take measures to protect ourselves and those around us.”

The man who was confirmed positive for COVID-19 on June 18 was identified after he sought medical attention and was tested for the virus, according to the Kaua‘i District Health Office.

The test was processed expeditiously by the DOH, and confirmation came in late Thursday. The individual had not recently traveled, and health officials have not been able to identify the source of his infection. The investigation continues.

Berreman said Saturday that health officials arranged for isolation for that individual and quarantine and testing of his household members. Seven of those household members, three of them children, were confirmed positive in test results returned Friday night. Those seven have been isolated since Saturday. All these cases result from in-home transmission.


Jessica Else, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or

  1. Surfer96714 June 20, 2020 1:27 pm Reply

    What part of the island is this cluster located?

  2. Bernard Markowicz June 20, 2020 5:16 pm Reply

    While we do not know, and may never know, the origin of this hotspot, this news highlights a fundamental truth about this pandemic: We, hawaiians, should learn to live with this disease and forget about this naive notion that we can eliminate it from our shores.

    This does not mean that we should not do everything we can to minimize its impacts on our population and on our economy, but wishing this pandemic away will not eliminate it. Our public officials are right, wearing masks and robust contact tracing are the answers, but setting the expectation that we can eliminate this disease is unrealistic and counterproductive.

  3. Reality Bites June 21, 2020 4:28 am Reply

    “The ONLY reason to quarantine an entire population was to decrease the load on hospitals and medical providers. Since the corona-virus entered the US, only 2% of those who actually get infected have required hospitalization. Our fears never came to fruition. The hospitalization load never even reached full capacity in 99% of hospital facilities across the country and many facilities began furloughing employees in April 2020. In fact, this weeks estimate by the CDC is that the fatality ratio for COVID-19 is 0.004. That means if you get the infection, you have a 0.4% chance of dying from coronavirus. Remember, influenza has a fatality ratio that fluctuates between 0.002-0.005 depending on the year (0.2%-0.5% fatality risk). In layman’s terms, your risk of death from a coronavirus infection is no greater than the flu.
    The population with the greatest risk for death with any infection is that group over 65 years old. Your overall risk of getting this infection in the United States and dying, if you are over 65 years old, is 0.04% based on our current population and fatality rates. Your overall risk of getting the flu and dying, if you are over 65 years old, is between 0.03%-0.05% depending on the severity of the year.”

  4. Q Non June 21, 2020 6:09 am Reply

    Lucky 7, or is it 8, who will all develop self, automatic, natural immunity, because that is what the immune system does after exposure to viruses. Who does not know this in the medical field…those that failed to pay attention in class we suppose.

    Don’t disturb natural immunity with pharma drugs, they are just more burden oon the immune system.

    Was this latest positive (FALSE maybe) tested individual taken away and “stored” in some remote quarantine center in upper Kapai’a like a common criminal ? It’s getting scary, or is this how madical, er, medical care, keeps their patients from going through the same old year after year flu naturally, as in stay home and rest, drink lots water and let nature perform the internal healing process, more effective than drugs, resulting in optimal immunity. And if you have no symptoms, enjoy the beach it is healthy.

    If quarantine for the flu means putting people away in quarantine centers, is that what’s happening, then it is NAZI-ism and commuinitstic. Erodoing FREEDOM in America for medical failure madness and sales of Pharmaceutical drugs…waiting for the $$$ Trillions in profits from a VACCINE.

    What fools mere mortals be.!

    Send that US capitalists back to China, Wuhan, where he paid the Chinese viral research center to further develop Covid 19 with US taxpayer money, according to some investigators.

    This flu is just like all the others over your lifetime…you get either No Symptoms, or mild, or need bedrest, so carry on with Mother Nature that is stronger than all things.

    If you are elderly with Chronic Degenerative Diseases, really End of Life Diseases, like Heart and stroke, obesity and/or diabetes, cancers, Alzheimers, kidney, liver, lung, gastroiontestinal failures, and complicating all that with Prescription drugs…this is your Covid wake up call to change your life style at the grocery store and fast junk food places.

    Health is not at snack bar…even though stores and restaurants are…final joke is on you.

    Health or disease is yours to live or die by.

    1. Q none June 23, 2020 12:47 am Reply

      Recent research is showing that this “natural immunity” may start to wane in two to three months. That’s right, you might be able to catch this virus multiple times! Now, how does that fit into your math?

  5. Doc June 21, 2020 8:36 am Reply

    Although Janet Berreman and the Mayor may have good intentions to help people, they have been misled, and thereby, have been making decisions based on incorrect assumptions.

    1. The Imperial College model of a dangerous virus was never based on evidence. It doesn’t matter how many times it is repeated by politicians, agencies, or media, it is still untrue. Since actual research and evidence has repeatedly shown a mortality rate of less than 0.3%, there has never been a reason to promote hysteria or shutdowns because of this virus.

    2. Please do not mislead people about the role of a virus. Not only do all human beings have billions of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and microbes inside of us, they are essential to us being healthy and happy as they produce dopamine, serotonin, etc., and help our digestive and immune systems.

    3. The usefulness of contact tracing, arrests, imprisonment, mask hysteria, and the shutdown of our economy were nullified when the first underlying assumption of the Imperial College model was proven wildly off target.

    1. Everythingisawesome June 23, 2020 6:31 am Reply


  6. kauaiboy June 21, 2020 8:45 am Reply

    I understand the need to keep the name of the infected individuals private.

    HOWEVER, why cannot the community learn from the outset where on Kauai the affected family resides?

    That might help alleviate the panic many people are feeling right now, having heard the news of a “spike” on Kauai.

    If the affected group is on the North Shore, covid19 will likely take a while to reach beyond Lihue. Likewise, is the affected group is on the South or West sides, the residents on the East Side and North Shore may be able to more rationally breathe a little easier.

    Let’s not create an atmosphere of paranoia out of ill-conceived concern.

    Tell us more, government officials and medical hierarchy. Don’t leave us in the dark, biting our nails and reluctant to experience life. We are not stupid. We can make intelligent choices which , we understand, go along with inherent risks.

    1. Everythingisawesome June 23, 2020 6:35 am Reply

      “If the affected group is on the North Shore, covid19 will likely take a while to reach beyond Lihue”
      How do you think it gets from “there” to “here”? Ocean currents? Blowing in the wind? I would love to hear your answer….

  7. Surf June 21, 2020 9:36 am Reply

    Does anyone know where this cluster is?

  8. Mailman Mike June 21, 2020 10:32 am Reply

    You are concerned with the large number of contacts? Contract tracing is backward. Why not say what part of the island this case is from, where they shop, work, did they ride the bus? Your reporting isn’t helping me feel better.

  9. Ono Chah Berga June 21, 2020 8:42 pm Reply

    are we supposed to be alarmed or not?

  10. Jay June 22, 2020 2:37 pm Reply

    ”However, the large number of contacts identified by the investigation is concerning,”

    I have it on good authority that this person was at the protests, which the mayor himself attended, that’s why it’s already three days since the person tested positive and the infection source was not published, that’s because the mayor won’t let them publish it…

    1. Kay June 23, 2020 12:50 am Reply

      Complaining about not hearing about things soon enough, hiding behind “good authority”. Yup, conspiracy checks.

      1. Jay June 24, 2020 5:24 am Reply

        Yes good authority!! No conspiracy.

        My wife works in the county health department, is that good enough for you?

  11. Everythingisawesome June 23, 2020 6:38 am Reply

    “I have it on good authority” that the virus takes a break during protests, but only protests for social justice.

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