LIHU‘E —Kaua‘i now has a total of 4 active COVID-19 cases on the island, as two new virus cases were confirmed Tuesday evening, and officials are saying one of the new cases is directly linked to interisland travel.
Kaua‘i Mayor Derek Kawakami announced the two new cases in a public social media address on Wednesday, saying “it is a good reminder that any off-island travel poses risks, especially as the cases across the state and nation continue to rise. Travel only if you must.”
The two new cases bring the cumulative number of cases to date to 47.
All four active cases are in isolation, and their close contacts are in quarantine.
One of the new cases is an adult resident who had close contact on Kaua‘i with an interisland traveler, according to Kawakami, who then tested positive for COVID-19 upon their return home.
The other new case is an adult resident who recently returned from mainland travel.
“During the past week, there have been significant numbers of new cases in multiple locations on O‘ahu, and we are carefully watching that situation,” Kawakami said Wednesday. “Many of those cases involve social gatherings where individuals failed to follow the guidelines of wearing masks and keeping at least a six-foot distance from non-household members.”
Wednesday afternoon, the Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center reported a total new case count of 108 statewide; 98 on O‘ahu, nine on Maui and two on Kaua‘i, attributing the sharp uptick to a delay in reporting because of Hurricane Douglas.
A total of 5,160 tests were processed between Saturday and Wednesday. Normally, about 1,000-2,000 tests are processed each day.
However, for the past several days, the state has been reporting record-breaking numbers of new cases — mostly on O‘ahu.
“The dramatic increase in cases reported today was anticipated based on recent trends since the Fourth of July weekend, which continue,” said State Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson. “We are seeing an increase in small and large social gatherings, including gatherings on beaches and in our parks, at homes and in workplaces.”
He also pointed out recent increases in cases associated with bars, gyms other establishments where physical distancing and masking is not regularly practiced.
“Based on data collected on cases through our investigations and contact tracing, we are recommending that strategic actions be taken to further restrict activities associated with these cases,” said Anderson.
Venues where multiple clusters have been identified, such as in bars and gyms, will “obviously be targeted,” said Anderson.