DOH reports low rate of mask-wearing

LIHU‘E — The state Department of Health discovered 68% of Kaua‘i residents use personal protective equipment in public places the DOH surveyed.

In the study, Hawai‘i County was discovered to have the lowest percentage of PPE usage among the neighbor islands, 57%, with Maui at 70% of residents wearing masks.

The statistical analysis concluded that O‘ahu had a high level of participation, with 84% of their residents surveyed wearing masks.

The efforts were led by the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa School of Nursing’s Dr. Gary Glauberman and his team of volunteers, who collected the data in commercial areas on weekends.

Several Kaua‘i UH students and members of the Kaua‘i Medical Reserve Corps helped the DOH collect data using survey applications on smartphones.

The DOH decided to not conduct observations in areas where people spend time exclusively outdoors, such as beaches and parks, because of the lower risk of transmission of the virus, according to the DOH statistics.

State DOH Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman is optimistic about the data collected. “As far as we know, Hawai‘i is the only state collecting and reporting data on mask-wearing behavior,” Berreman said. “The importance of mask-wearing is a consistent part of the county’s and DOH’s public messaging about COVID-19 and, in part, I think it just takes time for a new behavior to become a regular practice.”

Berreman attributed Kaua‘i’s low percentage of people wearing PPE in public to the island’s low numbers of COVID-19 infections on the island.

“It is also possible that people on Kaua‘i feel relatively safe because of our low levels of disease. But, as we know, that can change at any time,” Berreman said.

Berreman said she hopes the COVID-19 numbers will continue to stay low in order for the county to start loosening restrictions.

“As we look forward to loosening restrictions related to travel and students returning to in-person learning at school, it is important that we all remember to wear our masks when we are outside our homes and around others,” Berreman said.


Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or

  1. Masking issues September 27, 2020 6:00 am Reply

    Masking prevents auto (self) immunity. As well…
    If sources of foods could turn their epidemic of junk into sources of nutrition more people would test virus positive and have no sickness or only mild symptoms due to their optimal functional immune system not burdened by junk foods and sugar and chemical additives.

    One of our Big Box stores from the cash registers back to the clothing is all snack foods, little nutrition in spite of the labeling. Nutritious food makes for a healthy immune system.

    Positive testing should let the truth out that people don’t get flu sick with the virus because their healthy immune systems produce adequate antibodies to “silence” or deactivate the virus.

    Test for antibodies to show positive to show virus infection was deactivated or destroyed, but don’t lie about it.

    What else besides natural self made antibodies could deactivate virus before they require the get well symptoms of flu.

    After all, immune systems and their natural antibodies have been protecting vertebrates, similar to us, for 550 million years. Beat that track record vs. a silly manmade disease for a vaccine. Make Common Sense Common Again.

  2. David September 27, 2020 6:05 am Reply

    I think the results of this report should be questioned. When I go out everyone is wearing a mask. I mean everyone I see, I can’t be oblivious to 3 out of 10 people without face coverings.

  3. PCL September 27, 2020 8:33 am Reply

    It seems to me that all people in Kauai wear masks when shopping. Where are the 32% of people who do not wear masks? Does DOH want people to wear masks outside when you are walking to your parked car?

  4. Everythingisawesome September 27, 2020 9:01 am Reply

    ” it is important that we all remember to wear our masks when we are outside our homes and around others”

    ESPECIALLY around others in your own household. Remember, your mask protects others. If you aren’t wearing your mask at home, you aren’t protecting your own family. How selfish would that be? Pretty selfish.

    1. Everyoneisparanoid September 29, 2020 7:50 am Reply

      If you can’t trust the people in your own household – or yourself – to follow simple guidelines to stop the spread of disease, then yes, you should wear a mask around them and clean all surfaces frequently. In fact, you should try to limit exposure in any reasonable way you can.

      Why is this a hard concept for you?

  5. Everythingisawesome September 27, 2020 9:29 am Reply

    “As far as we know”

    Dear Derek,
    Please use a small amount of our tax money to provide Dr. Berreman with internet access. She doesn’t appear to know anything.


  6. MisterM September 27, 2020 1:42 pm Reply

    So, 1/3rd want to be super-spreaders? Talk about spreading the wrong kind of aloha.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.