DOH: ‘Ele‘ele School’s case likely community transmission

‘ELE‘ELE — Allison Carveiro, principal of ‘Ele‘ele School, wrote a letter that was distributed on Sunday, Oct. 25, addressing the school employee who tested positive for COVID-19 that was announced on Monday by the state Department of Health.

It was reported the employee had some contact with staff and students, but it was later determined by the DOH that they were not close contacts.

The employee was on campus from Monday, Oct. 19 to Friday, Oct. 23, before testing positive.

“We are in contact with the employee, who is doing fine, and I have sent our aloha,” Carveiro said in a letter to parents and staff.

“Out of respect for this individual’s privacy, I will not be sharing additional information. Our COVID Response Team responded immediately, and the area has been cleaned and sanitized. We have been cleared to open school on Monday.”

Carveiro said her school is taking the necessary precautions, including notifying potential, close contacts and coordinating the next steps with the state Department of Education’s COVID-19 Core Response Team.

“As a reminder, (DOH) is the lead agency when it comes to contact tracing and officially notifying individuals who may have been exposed,” Carveiro said.

Carveiro encouraged all parents and staff to speak to their health-care providers or DOH should they have any concerns, and reminded parents to do a wellness check before coming onto ‘Ele‘ele School’s campus.

“Individuals who are exhibiting any symptoms, or who have been directed to quarantine by DOH, should not come to campus,” said Carveiro.

“If someone in your household has been tested for COVID-19 or they are exhibiting symptoms, please call before coming to campus so we can assess the situation and determine if a visit is necessary and/or appropriate.

“Please stay safe, and know we are taking all precautions to ensure our campus is safe,” said Carveiro.

According to the DOH, close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of the person for 15 minutes or logging or having direct contact with the infected person’s secretions, like being coughed on.

Dr. Janet Berreman of the DOH in Kaua‘i District Health Office said she is relieved by the DOE’s quick actions.

“We are fortunate that this case did not have large numbers of close contacts in the DOE setting,” Berreman said.

“This is a tribute to the precautions that DOE has in place and good compliance with those precautions. I am pleased that the work with DOE and DOH has gone smoothly, with excellent communication and coordination.

“I would especially like to express appreciation for Complex Area Superintendent Paul Zina and his staff. He has clearly planned well for the possibility of a COVID case in DOE. He and his staff handled the situation calmly and competently,” said Berreman.

Berreman said there is no indication that this case is travel-related, so DOH considers the source to be community transmission.

6 Comments
  1. John October 28, 2020 9:25 am Reply

    Hawaii DOE and HSTA were the most adamant about keeping our schools closed this semester because they erroneously predicted that the students would be spread the virus among themselves.

    Now here we have a DOE employee spreading the virus to children. Either he is some kind of special idiot, or this was malicious intent.


  2. Ashley October 28, 2020 8:29 pm Reply

    The only special idiot is you, mister. The DOE and staff were fearful of the inability to socially distance with a full student/staff load. The fear wasn’t erroneous either, as some public schools have 100+ students per grade level and being able to keep any recommended distance is/was near impossible. If super markets and public and private sector businesses can mandate safe distance measures, why is it unreasonable for teachers and staff to expect the same treatment? Public schools needed more time to plan on safely reopening, and that particular school had been open to in person school instruction since August. Only until Kauai opened to non quarantine travel did cases start popping up again. I can only presume that you aren’t a local Kauai born, because to suggest that one of our own brought this COVID case on through “malicious intent” is something no local would come up with. Clown.


  3. John October 29, 2020 9:02 am Reply

    @Ashley, you really have no idea what you are talking about, do you? Your supermarket analogy doesn’t fly, because nobody advocated closing down the supermarkets. Those businesses mandated masks and social distancing, as well as continuous cleaning, and it works just fine.

    And yet, even as Kauai quarantined and shut itself off from the world this past spring and summer, the DOE and HSTA still demanded that all local schools across the islands – regardless of their location or number of students – stay CLOSED last semester and this semester, with utter disregard for the children or their working parents who had to quit their jobs to stay home with them.

    As for needing more time to plan, the HI DOE and their schools have had since LAST MARCH – nearly 8 months!!! – to make arrangements. Did they? No, they literally sat on their butts until August without doing a single thing.

    That’s the Hawaii DOE and HSTA for you – they are the laziest bunch of schmucks in this nation, which is why HI ranks very last in all things academic. They’d rather just keep our schools permanently closed (while still paying themselves) instead of think up effective solutions to stay open.


    1. Ashley October 30, 2020 9:43 am Reply

      Schools were never closed down entirely, even in March. Distance Learning was initiated shortly after Spring Break ended, and unless you’re a teacher, you have no place to say how hard that transition was. Teachers are doing double, triple, the work they did last year, but you’re too ignorant to see that. You ask any teacher, they’d much rather instruction go back to how it was pre-Covid, but until we get this pandemic situation under control, that’s not an option.

      Hawaii has 200+ public schools, 10,000 or so teachers, and over 150,000 students—you think it’s easy trying to come up with distance learning curricula along with COVID safety policies for that many people? Schools had no choice but to close to in person instruction in March because they didn’t know what they were dealing with. CDC was coming out with new info and guidelines every day, countries were closing their borders, the numbers of people getting COVID were climbing… not to mention personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitizers were scarce as the COVID hysteria grew. Schools needed to be stocked up on PPE/masks and hand wash/sanitation supplies to even think about reopening, but in March and April, supplies were limited and hard to come by.

      In August, teachers were not reassured that safety protocols would be met so they spoke up. Supermarkets AND public/private businesses either shortened their hours, closed, or reduced capacity, all to maintain social distancing and sanitation policies in line with CDC guidelines. Teachers aren’t martyrs, they had every right to demand the same policies be in place for them too. Fortunately, our public schools haven’t had any major outbreaks and that is because of the strict guidelines pushed by HSTA at the urging of teachers. Im sorry that it’s affected you, but this is the time we live in right now.

      Bottom line is, we are all affected by this, not just parents and children. This situation is hard for all of us, and to sit out on the sidelines and criticize DOE employee’s for being lazy when you know nothing of how much work they put in, just goes to show how much of a fool you are.


    2. Summer October 30, 2020 3:59 pm Reply

      @John. The public school system, as our state and the rest of the world, were unprepared for how to handle this pandemic when it first came out in the spring. Stopping the school year was the prudent thing to do for the safety of us all.

      Fast forward to the new school year. The DOE was completely to blame for the reason the schools couldn’t reopen in the fall. They focused on summer learning instead of planning safety procedures and guidelines that all staff required to start the new school year. HSTA fought for teachers and staff because there was no plan in place! No PPE for staff, no guidance as to how to transition back to learning. Since you seem to be so gung ho on placing blame, lay it at the feet of Superintendent Kishimoto.

      You cannot deny that health procedures and guidelines are necessary to running any business safely during this time. Even with half the student population on campus on a given day, it is constant work to keep students safe. Even with half the students in a class, the challenge to teach while ensuring that students are wearing their masks, not touching each other, and keeping their distance is tough. Every moment of the day, in addition to teaching, the enforcement of safety measures is CONSTANT. This doesn’t include the frequent sanitizing of surfaces and hands.

      Do you work with children? Have you ever volunteered in a school? Kids are germ spreaders. They don’t cover their mouths, don’t blow their nose with tissue (t-shirts are preferable), rarely wash their hands effectively, and love to hug their teachers and friends. You can’t blame educators and those who work with children to be concerned for their safety. Yes, a staff member contracted covid. Who, from? No one knows but it could’ve been from a student, it could’ve been from anyone! It can happen to anyone! So why blame? You seem full of accusations and judgements. Are you perfect? Do you have a better solution? Please share them.


  4. Ashley October 30, 2020 9:36 am Reply

    Schools were never closed down entirely, even in March. Distance Learning was initiated shortly after Spring Break ended, and unless you’re a teacher, you have no place to say how hard that transition was. Teachers are doing double, triple, the work they did last year, but you’re too ignorant to see that. You ask any teacher, they’d much rather instruction go back to how it was pre-Covid, but until we get this pandemic situation under control, that’s not an option.

    Hawaii has 200+ public schools, 10,000 or so teachers, and over 100,000 kids—you think it’s easy trying to come up with distance learning curricula along with COVID safety policies for that many people? Schools had no choice but to close to in person instruction in March because they didn’t know what they were dealing with. CDC was coming out with new info and guidelines every day, countries were closing their borders, the numbers of people getting COVID were climbing… not to mention personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitizers were scarce as the COVID hysteria grew. Schools needed to be stocked up on PPE/masks and hand wash/sanitation supplies to even think about reopening, but in March and April, supplies were scarce and hard to come by.

    In August teachers were not reassured that safety protocols would be met, so they spoke up. Supermarkets AND public/private businesses either shortened their hours, closed, or reduced capacity, all to maintain social distancing within CDC guidelines. Teachers aren’t martyrs, they had every right to demand the same policies be in place. Fortunately, our public schools haven’t had any major outbreaks and that is because of the strict guidelines pushed by HSTA at the urging of teachers. Im sorry that it’s affected you, but this is the time we live in right now.

    Bottom line is, we are all affected by this, not just parents and children. This situation is hard for all of us, and to sit out on the sidelines and criticize DOE employee’s for being lazy when you know nothing of how much work they put in, just goes to show how much of a fool you are.


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