LIHU‘E — Friday morning, the county reported five new on-island COVID-19 cases, including three visitors and two residents.
Four of the cases are travel-related, and one has been listed as community spread, Mayor Derek Kawakami said during Friday’s COVID-19 update video.
The county currently has 16 active cases, with two in the hospital, and a reported 95 in quarantine as directed by the state Department of Health, as identified by contact-tracing investigations.
On Kaua‘i, there have been 104 cumulative cases, with 92 confirmed locally, one probable and 11 diagnosed elsewhere.
The county, in partnership with the state DOH, is offering free COVID-19 tests through the end of the year. Of the five newly reported cases, one was discovered during last Sunday’s Kapa‘a surge-testing event, which tested 413 residents, yielding two positive results. At a testing event earlier this month, of 194 people tested, two came back positive.
The next event is Sunday, Nov. 22 at Hanapepe Stadium, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Residents can register and see a full list of testing locations at kauai.gov/test.
“Folks, if you are experiencing symptoms and have health insurance, please contact your physician immediately,” Kawakami urged. “Do not wait for surge testing to be tested. If you receive a positive test result, please call the Department of Health to notify them.”
These tests cannot be used for the state’s Safe Travels program or to be released from quarantine.
On Thursday, Gov. David Ige implemented a requirement that all travelers must have their negative pre-travel COVID-19 test uploaded into the Safe Travels website prior to flying to bypass a 14-day quarantine. The county has confirmed 10 of the state’s 44 instances of travelers receiving positive COVID-19 pre-travel tests after arriving onto the island.
“This not only disrupts travel plans for these cases, as they must immediately go into isolation, but it is taxing on our limited on-island resources,” Kawakami said.
The county is still hoping and waiting on approval for a mandatory, three-day quarantine and post-travel test for travelers that was proposed to Ige on Monday. This local rule would require a second negative test before being able to leave the quarantine.
“The governor is still considering that rule,” Kawakami said. “Meanwhile, we are obtaining the resources required to carry out that level of testing should he honor our request. If our request is denied, we are considering other protective measures we could propose.”
Statewide, health officials recorded 95 new COVID-19 cases Friday, and one death. The new cases include 70 on O‘ahu, 13 on Hawai‘i Island, five on Maui and one on Kaua‘i. This state information lags county-reported totals and does not include cases of travelers who received their pre-travel tests elsewhere.
Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.