LIHU‘E — Two of the seven active cases of COVID-19 on Kaua‘i are currently hospitalized. Three are in home isolation and one is in an isolation facility.
Late Monday, the county announced one new male resident case linked to Mainland-travel. This case had tested negative as part of the state’s pre-travel testing program and positive during the post-travel program.
The county remains at Tier 4, the least restrictive, characterized by less than two daily active cases reported. At this tier, the county allows nearly all businesses and activities to remain operational with minimal restrictions and allows the state’s pre-travel test program to bypass the quarantine.
The current rolling seven-day average for the county is less than one.
To move into Tier 3 or beyond, which has a daily seven-day average between two and four cases, the county would need to exceed criteria in the current tier for two weeks. At Tier 3, the county begins to limit indoor and outdoor gatherings when the county sees a one-week average of two to four cases.
It is at the most restrictive tiers, 1 and 2, that the county opts out of the state’s pre-travel testing program and more stringent restrictions take effect. The county reserves the right to implement additional restrictions not outlined currently in shorter timeframes than two weeks if the health care system becomes overwhelmed.
“With our local COVID cases increasing and infection spreading across the Mainland and elsewhere, it is even more important that we take precautions,” Mayor Derek Kawakami said Monday during his daily COVID-19 Update. “Wearing a mask limits your chance of spreading the virus in case you are infectious but don’t yet know it.”
Since its reopening, the state has seen over 108,500 visitors flying in from the Mainland, averaging over 6,000 visitors daily.
County officials estimate that less than 10% of travelers are not participating in the states’ pre-travel testing program, a county spokesperson said Monday. Kaua‘i Police Department and the Hawai‘i National Guard continue to monitor about 1,600 people in travel-related quarantine.
About 500 total travelers have participated in the post-arrival testing program since its launch, Oct. 15 to last Monday, Oct. 26. That’s about 20% of returning Kaua‘i residents, and only 2% of visitors participating.
The county had preemptively purchased 15,000 rapid COVID-19 test kits for about $1 million using federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act money. As of Monday, the county has about 14,000 left.
These testing options are reserved for residents and visitors who traveled to Kaua‘i from the mainland and participated in the state’s Safe Travel Program. Tests are available between 72 hours after arrival and up to 14 days after. The county prefers tests be taken five to seven days after arrival, or for those not staying that long, three days after arrival.
The Hawai‘i Department of Health reported 78 new cases statewide and no additional deaths. Of these new cases, 65 are on O‘ahu, four on Hawai‘i Island, two on Maui, one on Kaua‘i, and one on Lana‘i. Five Hawai‘i residents were diagnosed outside of the state.
This story was updated Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 8:55 a.m. to update information on a new positive case of COVID-19 reported on Kaua‘i late Monday, after The Garden Island’s print deadline.