LIHU‘E — The state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office reported one new active COVID-19 case and subtracted a case reported earlier this week.
The latest case involves a returning adult male resident who participated in the state’s Safe Travels pre-travel testing program. While he received a negative test result, a post-travel test ordered by his provider came back positive, health officials reported.
On Monday, the county reported a positive case of a female resident who works for the state Department of Education at ‘Ele‘ele School linked to community spread. Thursday, the DOH determined the case to be a false positive.
Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman explained that “even the best tests are not 100% accurate.”
“This is why our case investigation is critically important,” Berreman said. “We determine a patient’s medical information, exposure and travel history to get a comprehensive assessment. In this case, the test results did not match the assessment.”
The former case was re-tested twice using a test on a nasopharyngeal swab, which Berreman said is “considered the ‘gold standard’ of tests.”
“Both results returned negative, and we are confident that her initial test was a false positive and she did not have COVID-19,” Berreman said.
This resident and close contacts have been released from quarantine.
This factors into a total of three active cases as of Thursday, all travel-related, among two residents and one visitor. The island’s cumulative case count is 63 and one probable case. The county Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency lists 11 close contacts under quarantine currently.
“Kaua‘i’s recent cases remind us that this is a complicated disease and there is still a lot we don’t know,” Mayor Derek Kawakami said in a statement. “What we do know is that the best way to avoid getting infected is to wear our mask, keep our distance from others, wash our hands and avoid large gatherings.”
The DOH reported 77 new COVID-19 cases and two related deaths Thursday.
The new cases include 60 on O‘ahu, eight on Hawai‘i Island, two on Lana‘i, one on Kaua‘i and six out-of-state residents.
Kawakami urges travelers to consider completing a two-week quarantine and taking pre- and post-travel tests. The county offers post-travel testing to both residents and visitors from the mainland who have participated in the state’s Safe Travel program no sooner than 72 hours after arrival and up to 14 days after.
The county suggests tests be taken five to seven days after landing, or at least three days after arrival.
Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or email@example.com.