LIHU‘E — Investigation the state Department of Health made into the two active COVID-19 cases on Kaua‘i gives officials confidence neither was infectious during travel.
DOH Kaua‘i District Health Office Officer Dr. Janet Berreman expanded further on Tuesday.
The infectious period for COVID-19 starts about two days before symptoms do, and the disease is spreadable for about 10 days, Berreman said. “There are case-by-case variations, but this is the general timeframe,” she said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the “onset and duration of viral shedding and the period of infectiousness for COVID-19 are not yet known with certainty.”
However, while “virtually nothing is 100%,” Berreman said, the department is “confident” these two cases, both Mainland travel-linked, were not exposed to others.
“The information DOH gathered in our investigation of these two cases allows us to be confident that they did not travel during their infectious period,” Berreman said.
Both active cases were complying with the state’s mandated two-week quarantine when diagnosed. Berreman said there was “no broad community exposure,” but three close contacts were identified and placed into quarantine this week. Berreman said if this were not the case, the state was prepared to work with airlines and the CDC to identify other close contacts.
“Fortunately, neither of these individuals flew during their infectious period,” Berreman said Monday.
The infectious period lasts for about 10 days after the onset of symptoms, according to the CDC.
“That’s why it’s important for all of us to take care when we are out in public, first and foremost by wearing masks when we are around others from outside our household, such as on an airplane,” Berreman said.
“Any time we are out in public and around others, we could inadvertently be exposed to someone who is infectious. That is why we need to wear masks, keep our distance, wash our hands, and stay home when we are sick,” she said.
State reports 87 new cases
The state reported 87 new positive infections Tuesday — two on Maui, three on Hawai‘i Island, 80 on O‘ahu and two from out of state. No new cases were reported on Kaua‘i.
Hawai‘i has averaged 110 cases a day for the past week.
That brings the state’s total to 12,203 cases reported since the end of February. There are currently 1,900 active cases.
There are currently 147 people hospitalized with COVID-19, and 44 people in intensive-care units, according to the DOH. The state’s quarantine facilities are at 32% capacity, with 167 individuals in government-provided rooms. The state has reported 134 COVID-19 related deaths as of Tuesday.
Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.