LIHU‘E — Health officials identified another household with positive cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, resulting in four new positive cases on the island and bringing the confirmed positive total up to 12.
Kauai District Health Officer Janet Berreman said Wednesday that all of those individuals are either mildly ill or asymptomatic, and “so far, no one has required hospitalization.”
Both of the households are located on the south side of Kaua‘i, but Berreman said Wednesday the current location of those in isolation isn’t being released in order to protect their privacy and the health department keeping tabs on the individuals. The most recent individuals to test positive for the virus include one adult and three children.
“DOH personnel stays in contact with them daily to ensure their needs are met,” Berreman said.
The four new cases are part of the second household to test positive for the virus since June 18 and were discovered through a contact tracing investigation that has identified and tested more than 100 individuals on the island since June 18. All of those close contacts have been quarantined and tested for the virus, and the investigation continues into the source and spread of COVID-19 on Kaua‘i.
“We get a lot of questions about where this latest Kaua`i outbreak originated,” Berreman said on Wednesday. “We continue to investigate the possible source of this infection—in particular, whether there may be a link to travel. Thus far we have no definite indication of a travel source, but we are actively pursuing all leads and will keep you posted.”
Berreman also clarified the difference between isolation and quarantine on Wednesday.
Quarantine applies to people who may have been exposed to the virus. Those under quarantine are at risk of becoming ill, but currently are not ill and “must not leave their place of quarantine or receive guests during a 14-day period from their date of exposure.”
“Most of those in quarantine are now being tested early in the course of their quarantine—that’s how our new cases have been identified,” Berreman said. “But a negative test does not ensure that an individual won’t become sick, or turn positive, during the remainder of their quarantine. So a negative test does not shorten the duration of the quarantine.”
Isolation applies to people who are sick with COVID-19 and must be kept apart from people who are not infected. For those who need to be hospitalized, isolation continues in the hospital.
“The duration of their isolation depends on the course of their illness—it can be shorter or longer than quarantine,” Berreman said.
Jessica Else, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or firstname.lastname@example.org.