California variant on Kaua‘i

LIHU‘E — The COVID-19 variant known as the “California variant” was confirmed on the island Wednesday by the state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office.

Samples from four household members confirmed that they were infected with the variant B1.429, also known as the “California variant.” The household cluster is related to inter-island travel.

Kaua‘i had one previous case of the B1.429 variant in January 2021. That case was also related to travel.

“The B1.429 variant is the dominant form of COVID-19 circulating on O‘ahu and in Maui County, so it is not surprising that this variant was found related to inter-island travel,” said Dr. Janet Berreman, head of the DOH Kaua‘i District Health Office.

“It is also the dominant strain now in California, which poses a risk for additional introduction to Kaua‘i as travel restrictions are loosened. The B1.429 variant is of concern because it is more easily transmissible from person to person and therefore poses an increased risk of community spread,” she said.

The variant was found when seven members of a household tested positive for COVID-19 after two family members traveled inter-island. Because of the significant transmission in the household and the travel history, samples from several of these cases were submitted for genomic sequencing to see whether they might be one of the variants of concern identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

All four samples were confirmed to be the variant B1.429.

Fortunately, all known close contacts of these cases have completed their quarantine period and have been tested, and no additional cases have been identified. The DOH on Kaua‘i will continue monitoring for cases and testing for variants.

Six of the seven family members were unvaccinated at the time of their exposure, and the seventh had received only one of two doses. All seven confirmed cases were placed in health-directed isolation for 10 days after the onset of their illness. All confirmed cases, whether or not vaccinated, must complete a full isolation period to prevent any possibility of further transmission to others.

Thankfully, several of the people outside of the family who came into close contact with the infected family members were already fully vaccinated, having completed their vaccine doses 14 days or more before their first date of exposure.

Per CDC guidelines, fully vaccinated people who come into contact with an infected person are not required by health officials to isolate. Instead, they were able to continue working and going about their normal daily activities while self-monitoring for symptoms.

This refers to health-directed isolation, not mandatory traveler quarantines and exemptions.

The Kaua‘i District Health Office assisted with vaccine appointments for the cases and contacts ages 16 and older who were not yet fully vaccinated and wanted to be vaccinated.

“As residents travel more — both to the mainland and inter-island — and as we welcome more visitors to our island, it is especially important that we all continue to take precautions,” said Berreman.

“The strongest step we can take is to be vaccinated. I encourage all residents 16 years of age and older to make an appointment now if they have not already been vaccinated. And mahalo to those who have been vaccinated.”

2 new cases Wednesday (SUBHEAD)

Health officials reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

One case is a male child visitor whose source of infection is related to mainland travel.

The other case is an adult female resident whose source of infection is related to mainland travel and is a close contact of a previously-announced case.

All active cases are in isolation and close contacts are being identified, offered testing and directed to quarantine.

Wednesday’s cases bring the number of active cases to seven, with 241 cumulative cases.

Kaua‘i’s cumulative case count includes 206 confirmed locally, two probable, and 33 positive cases diagnosed elsewhere, as they received their pre-travel test results after arriving on island.

  1. kanOOkdrmr April 22, 2021 12:47 am Reply

    Didn’t see that coming

  2. Randy Kansas April 22, 2021 1:51 am Reply

    they should call it the illegal immigrant variant…..

  3. shirly April 22, 2021 4:37 am Reply

    I am so thankful we have had our 2 COVID vaccines and have protection as Kauai opens up and will have more cases.

    1. Yea? April 22, 2021 1:32 pm Reply

      You can still get it though so you should continue to socially distance yourselves and probably still wear a mask. Maybe 2 if you’re in a crowded area. This virus is no joke people!!

  4. douglas a henry April 22, 2021 8:28 am Reply

    Please, everyone, get vaccinated!

    1. Dingo April 22, 2021 8:50 pm Reply

      Get used to the idea that you’ll not get 100% of people vaccinated. Don’t even bother wish for it. It will not happen for a variety of reasons. Furthermore, this is not actually a solution for the problem you (think you) have.

  5. nothings free April 22, 2021 8:54 am Reply

    Oh my God! There’s a “variant” that is going to kill me now! Keep the hoax going! Wear body suits! Wear oxygen generating masks! Cover your hair!! Close all businesses! Let Government support us! You Kool aide idiots and news media are hyping up “the flu” to their own pathetic money making and power usurping greed at the expense of humanity! Covid is nothing more than the flu. Period! Children have an almost 100% no problem and those who are healthy under the age of 60 are safe! And don’t point to the few who died and blow it into a massacre. Here is the real fact you should focus on. Every scare mongering percentage of those who are pushing the Covid,”Pandemic” uses the popular scientific number of around 3% of us will die, which is based on what they say are ‘REPORTED’ cases. WHAT? REPORTED by who, and how? The medical community makes more money the more Covid cases they claim as cause of death? Die of Cancer, Heart Attack, or a lung disease and oh, by the way, he tested positive for Covid so you died of Covid, KA-CHING!. Make no mistake, our medical health care systems are BIG GREEDY HMO RUN BUSINESSES! Die of Cancer, or anything else, and the Hospitals make nothing! Die of Covid and their Corporate cash flow goes to the moon using skewed and misleading data! A major study just came out that projected over 71 million Americans have had the Covid virus. And lets just say that their inflated claim, which is bogus, of around 570,000 people have died is “true”. Divide the hyper inflated 570,000 deaths by 71 million actual cases who have had it and what do you get? Wow! Only .008% compared to .029% who die from the normal seasonal flu we get every year! I’m more worried about a car accident or shark attack! Most of the 71 million didn’t even know they had it! But we’ll all keep wearing miserable masks because so much money is now involved, and many people’s new found profits and POLITICAL POWER over your lives is now making politicians rich! The masses are now being told where they can travel, how they can travel, how close to sit and stand, what you must wear, whether you can go to a church, funeral sporting event, (funny the new government has no problem, and says nothing, about protesting, rioting, or thousands of disease infected immigrants walking thousands of miles to break into our Country, which is ok because they will vote Socialism and free stuff every time). They even tell you which direction you must walk in a supermarket, when you can open your small business, and on and on. Of course the big Political Contributors like Costco, Home Depot etc. stay open! Socialism, where government employees become the richest of all the proletariat classes, is now assured.

    1. Steve Massaro April 22, 2021 1:26 pm Reply

      570,000 of 71,000,000 is .8%. That is 27 times more deadly than the flu (.029%) you referenced. Please use math correctly if you are going to use it to defend your positions.

    2. joebiddin April 22, 2021 2:03 pm Reply

      Oh no…….Mayor Kawakami should order another lockdown to protect Kauai and its people. Forget about opening up tourism travel, island travel. I am not traveling to Oahu just to get infected. No one really knows the vaccine works as advertised. So another Lockdown for the rest of 2021.

  6. therealhawaiian April 22, 2021 9:49 am Reply

    Sure go get that vaccine! Of course, the few thousand people who have died and the tens of thousands who ended up in the Hospital for a week after taking it means nothing. I’m sure you’ve done your homework and know that it’s an experimental vaccine that does not cause immunity. In fact, Pfizer just came out and said they can only rely on the vaccine keeping one “close to immune” for 6 months! So get ready to take the experimental 2 shot vaccine once, or even twice a year for life if it makes you sleep better. Of course, it’s the only vaccine that the makers have been granted immunity from prosecution from any problem that may arise years down the road, but hey roll the dice. Just know that your chances of dying from Covid are miniscule even if you get it, which is the best way to build up real immunity from the virus.

    1. George April 22, 2021 3:09 pm Reply

      Source for your claim? Here is one to refute your statement.

  7. RGLadder37 April 22, 2021 2:12 pm Reply

    If you get vaccinated, they’ll need to have gotten the virus first. Which makes things interesting. It has symptoms like a flu. But your bodies must learn to fight against it. To develop the immune system. But who knows how people will react to the virus. This part is hard. They may just drop dead or fight it for months or years. Sick. Then comes vaccine. Will it work?

  8. Uncleaina April 22, 2021 6:22 pm Reply

    Hey clowns spreading misinformation, over 1 million doses of vaccine have been given in HAWAII ALONE since January. No one has died from it AT ALL here. Use your heads people!!

  9. Soaprah April 22, 2021 8:57 pm Reply

    You think they would actually report about it if it happened?? They cover these things up, (if they even make the connection)

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