DOH announces two new cases of COVID-19

LIHU‘E — The state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. Two adult male visitors tested positive and are now in isolation. Neither is hospitalized at this time.

Both visitors participated in the state’s Safe Travels program and had negative test results before their travel. They later tested positive on Kaua‘i. Further details are under investigation. Close contacts are being identified, asked to quarantine and offered testing.

Kaua‘i’s cumulative case total is now 94. Of those, 84 are confirmed on-island, one is probable, and nine are confirmed positive tests performed out-of-state/off-island but reported after arrival/return to Kaua‘i.

There are now 14 active cases, with two hospitalized, three in an isolation facility, and nine in home isolation. In addition, 65 close contacts are in DOH-directed quarantine, including three in a quarantine facility. The number of close contacts in quarantine may increase as investigation of the cases continues.

The county is currently in Tier 4, the lowest tier on Kaua‘i’s Business and Recreational Guidelines for COVID-19 Tier Tracker.

If cases remain above a weekly average of two per day for two weeks, or test positivity remains above a weekly average of 1% for two weeks, the county will move to Tier 3, prompting additional restrictions. With Tuesday’s cases, Kaua‘i is currently at an average of 1.71 daily cases and 0.9% test positivity.

For more information on the state’s COVID-19 cases or the state’s Safe Travels program, visit hawaiicovid19.com.

For more information on the county’s voluntary post-travel testing program, visit kauai.gov/COVID-19. For more information on the county’s new surge-testing program, visit kauai.gov/test.

Ige to standardize mask mandate

Gov. David Ige has announced plans to sign an emergency proclamation that would clarify the current statewide mask mandate aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19.

The Democratic governor told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Monday that he met with all four county mayors last week to create identical rules for mask requirements on each of the islands, meaning each county would be subject to the same language.

“It will be required for everyone in the state of Hawai‘i to wear a mask while they’re in public,” Ige said. “Period.”

The mandate is expected to provide some exemptions, which will also be the same across each of the counties. Ige, a Democrat, did not immediately provide further details about the exemptions.

The announcement came after concerns emerged that residents and visitors would be confused with various regulations. Visitor-industry leaders requested a legislative special session to make the rules clear.

Some have also raised concerns about the misdemeanor penalty for people who violate the order, which can result in fines up to $5,000 and the possibility of a permanent criminal record.

Ige said it would be cumbersome to try to create a uniform mask mandate in a legislative special session and to reduce the penalties through legislation.

It was unclear when the statewide mask mandate updates will take effect.

Hawai‘i has had more than 16,400 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including more than 200 deaths, since the pandemic began in March, health officials said.

There have been 173 virus-related deaths on O‘ahu, 31 on Hawai‘i Island, 17 on Maui, and one from Kaua‘i who died on the mainland.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

5 Comments
  1. Uncleaina November 18, 2020 6:25 am Reply

    Mayor we need the new rules ASAP! It took 7 months for us to get to 60 cases but only 1 month to go from 60 to 90 cases. Stop people from coming without a verified negative test. And test at 72 hours! The economy is NOT coming back even though we’re “open” – so do the right thing and protect the residents and health care system.


  2. steve November 18, 2020 8:04 am Reply

    ”studies suggest”? studies have SHOWN that people can be infected with corona virus without showing symptoms…asymptomatic! irresponsible to say “studies suggest” and have that statement seem as if it can be otherwise. comment… we are only seeing the “tip of the iceberg” as to what is happening here on Kauai. especially since Oct. 15


  3. John November 18, 2020 9:37 am Reply

    Two more (that we know of; there are most likely dozens upon dozens) infected tourists wandering around Kauai coughing on us and spreading their sickness into our community without a care (because “muh vacation!”).

    Meanwhile, Ige and Kawakami are jut sitting around with their hotel and airline buddies doing absolutely NOTHING.

    When will these so-called public servants – who collect a very nice salary from the taxpayers in addition to whatever kickbacks they get on the side – start actually DOING YOUR JOBS!?


  4. truth be known November 18, 2020 12:22 pm Reply

    Here’s a real plan. If you are not feeling well, stay home. If you have to go out, wear a mask. That way, people will see that you are possibly sick and will avoid you. If you are carrying the disease and don’t know it, it’s probably because your immune system has already dealt with it. The only weak link in the chain is our mayor and governors’ reluctance to double test with a 3 day quarantine, which is totally asinine in my opinion. To make 99% of the population that are healthy wear a viral collection device that, at best, is marginally effective, is ludicrous and totally unnecessary.


    1. Kauaidoug November 18, 2020 4:34 pm Reply

      Uh, you’re a little behind here. One of the reasons the Chinese imposed a mask for all was so you could not tell if you were sick or not. If only sick wore masks then they would become targets. By your logic if I’m asymptomatic I could walk around getting unaware, maskless well people infected. Now if they had a mask then all good. This is a public health situation that overrides so called constitutional rights. Let’s help each other not fight each other because you know WHAT will win, right?
      And if you don’t think masks are effective would you want a doctor operating on you with no mask?
      Of all the places in the world where it should be easy to care and protect others let’s do this right and show our Aloha as we move into very unstable times.


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