COVID cases on the rise

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    The COVID-19 Testing Center is located at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Center.

LIHU‘E — As community spread cases rise, free testing at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, will be an option for residents.

Appointments will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis with a maximum of 350 appointments a day. On Friday, by 9:15 a.m., all 350 appointment slots were filled.

Friday, the state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office reported 16 new COVID-19 cases. This included four children and 12 adults, all residents. Fourteen are considered community-acquired and two linked to Mainland travel.

“This indicates that for the first time, we have extensive and sustained community transmission on our island,” Mayor Derek Kawakami said Friday.

Children under 16 are ineligible to receive a vaccine, but cases among children are rising on island, despite no evidence that transmission is occurring within schools.

“Although scientific evidence shows that young children may not see as severe symptoms, we are still unclear as to the long-lasting effects in children,” Kawakami said. “This is also a reminder that children can still get sick and pass the virus on to others … This makes it even more important for adults who are around children to help protect them by getting vaccinated.”

Cases on island have steadily been increasing, forcing the temporary closings of restaurants, canceled sporting events and even a post office for cleaning.

“We have been working long and hard at this Kaua‘i,” Kawakami said. “Fourteen months in and we still lead the way in vaccine distribution, low hospitalizations, and the least fatalities. But now is the time to come together once again and smash this curve.”

Despite that, Department of Health data has Kaua‘i listed with the worst mask compliance in the state at 73%.

According to the DOH, for every 100,000 people that live on Kaua‘i, there was an average of 7.5 newly reported cases per day for seven days ending on April 28.

Friday, the county also urged adult residents, 16 and older, to receive a vaccine.

Appointments can be made at local clinics, pharmacies, hospitals and grocery stores. More information can be found at

“Vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing disease but they provide a very high level of protection, and if you do become sick you are unlikely to become seriously ill,” Kawakami said. “Further, by getting vaccinated, we are helping those who cannot get vaccinated — including our kupuna, our keiki, and those with certain health conditions.”

The state has administered 1,202,060 doses, as of April 29. More than 60,000 of these were administered on Kaua‘i.

The county remains on its least-restrictive Tier 4, which allows nearly all businesses, activities and gatherings to continue with minimal restrictions, but that will likely shift.

When the county hits more than two cases in a rolling seven-day average for total new cases or a test-positive rate above 1%, there will be a shift to Tier 3, which shuts down both outdoor and indoor organized team sports and puts increased limits on gatherings.

As of Friday afternoon, the county had 55 active cases, none of which were hospitalized.

The county’s cumulative case total is 299 including 262 confirmed, 2 probable and 35 tested off-island but reported after arrival.

  1. Major Lee Hung May 1, 2021 12:48 am Reply

    55 total positives is approximately 0.07% of the population.

    1. ikashibi May 1, 2021 8:56 am Reply

      the Major knows how to do math. Brilliant. I would suggest he volunteers at the hospital covid ward to see the difference between statistics and human life.

      1. Akushibi May 2, 2021 5:12 pm Reply

        How many’s in the hospital with corvid?

    2. KauaiMathMan May 1, 2021 10:01 pm Reply

      Ok Major Hung,

      I’ll bite. Since you want to show off your mathematical acumen, why don’t you solve this fairly simple mathematical problem:

      55 cases today. Two week growth of positivity rate on Kauai is now 1420%. At that growth rate, what is the cumulative number of positive cases Kauai will have 8 weeks from now?

      Solve that one correctly and post that number, and we’ll see how dismissive you and everyone else will be….

  2. Uncleaina May 1, 2021 7:52 am Reply

    Second day of record high Covid cases on Kauai and this newspaper puts it halfway down the page with the exact same headline as yesterday. Did you guys learn journalism on YouTube? Or Twitch? I’m pretty sure COVID is the most important topic for our community right now and guess what? You’re supposed to listen to the needs of the community, not push your own agenda. TGI has repeatedly given voice to conspiracy theories but doesn’t care enough to inform us that cases are at an all time high. Kauai cases have risen 980% in 2 weeks- that’s the facts you need to report. We might have to go to tier 3, that’s an important fact you’re burying. 2 people on Kauai have DIED- haven’t seen much mention of them. As a long time reader, the recent change to a right wing agenda isn’t hard to see, and it’s not what the community wants. Try do news.

    1. a whole TWO people?!?! May 1, 2021 12:59 pm Reply

      how many more have died from suicide from despair?
      also, the 980% sounds ominous, but consider the actual numbers, they remain very, very small.

      1. you tell us May 2, 2021 1:30 pm Reply

        OK, how many?

      2. tunataxi May 3, 2021 8:37 am Reply

        Suicides are down… didnʻt you know ??

  3. alien May 1, 2021 8:05 am Reply

    King covidiot never seems to acknowledge the tremendous sacrifice small businesses and tourist related workers have suffered. He is more concerned with organized sports and whether or not people can have a party. He obviously has not made any tremendous sacrifices and does not understand what he has put so many people thru.

    1. resident May 1, 2021 9:09 am Reply

      I’ll try to ignore your name-calling and just address your blatant error in judgement about what suffering is. Sure, you can ‘suffer’ the lack of income, but suffering the disease and potentially dying is far worse.

      If you’re a small business owner who lost out because of tourism fading away, sorry. But don’t jeopardize my life for your money.

    2. Jamie Rainbow May 1, 2021 7:55 pm Reply

      As an outsider looking at what Mayor Kawakami has done for Kauai during this pandemic spearheaded a very well thought out and balanced plan, but he can’t win before Kauai rejoined the safe travels program people were saying he was making money off of the island being shut down. Now that the island is open again people are saying he is in the Hotels pockets. Give the guy a break he seems to really care for Kauai. Oh and last time I checked Covid caused the shutdown.

  4. David Presley May 1, 2021 1:57 pm Reply

    I think you are glossing over the issue. Our Mayor made a decision to put human life ahead of business interests. You can disagree with that decision; however, you should have the courtesy to let the rest of us know how many dead citizens would have been acceptable to you. Further, I respect your first amendment right of free speech but the least you could do is sign your name to what you write. Our Founding Fathers had the courage to do it and so should you.

    David Presley

  5. Paul Loizeaux May 1, 2021 3:12 pm Reply

    Is there some reason that TGI does not or cannot report the locations of the various Covid-19 cases on the island–by town or zip code? I agree that this is a big story and TGI does not seem to be adequately covering it.

  6. Mike May 1, 2021 3:54 pm Reply


    You’re the one being an idiot here, or perhaps an ideologue. The whole point of this article is the rapidly rising Covid case count on Kauai. The 7 day moving average is now officially 1420% higher than it was two weeks ago. Kauai is currently in the orange zone of CDC transmission rate and well on its way to being in the red zone. We’ve gone from being probably the most COVID-free county in the country to being probably at about the 50th percentile in terms of new infection rate. This is for no other reason than Mayor Kawakami in fact prioritized the business interests you reference over public health. You’’re welcome to your opinion on balancing health and economics, but if you want to contribute something to this forum, try using your brain and making an intelligent comment rather than repeating some irrelevant talking point.

  7. Business Owner May 1, 2021 5:02 pm Reply

    It is ironic that Kauai has chosen to open the doors to a fifteen-fold increase in COVID infection rate in part so the tourist related workers who have supposedly sacrificed their incomes for the greater good DON’T actually want to go back to work. Business owners out there know it. Dept of Labor knows it. DOL emailed me a few weeks ago to request that my business report anyone who refuses work because they know there are many people out there who would rather stay on unemployment than take a job. Talk to some business owners. They’ll tell you the truth. It does shift the cost/benefit of opening the way that we have.

  8. Mark May 1, 2021 6:03 pm Reply

    The very last thing this rag is would be right wing. Hawaii is more liberal the the entire west coast. Sleep easy uncleaina, put on your space ship jammies grab teddy hold him real tight close your wee eyes and drift off to sweet nighty nite. In the morning take your thumb out of your little mouth and wake to a beautiful realization that you still live in the most liberal place on earth.

    1. reddirt May 2, 2021 1:32 pm Reply

      In what way are you being helpful, Mark?

  9. Matt May 1, 2021 6:28 pm Reply

    . . . Seems like this is more important than Kawakami’s blue jeans.

    Small wonder that COVID conspiracy theories get so much traction here.

  10. Mdub May 2, 2021 10:34 am Reply

    Please give us more details on locations and clusters of Covid on the island.
    Again this has been asked several times and not been properly addressed no one is asking for names of persons or even streets
    why are we not being given the general area or neighborhoods
    we all have a right to know for our own safety and vigilance if clusters are in Kapaa, Waimea, Princeville, Kilauea etc. that’s general enough and not privacy restrictive but beneficial to all.
    This information is available and known and should be transparent
    This will show that the vast majority of Kauai is negative and should be considered in further policy tier rollbacks not needed universally.

  11. Biruta Eilers May 2, 2021 3:52 pm Reply

    It’s our civic duty to get tested and vaccinated
    Stop complaining and comply.
    Every one has made sacrifices .The sooner we comply the better for all of us.

    1. Norm Smith May 4, 2021 5:59 pm Reply

      i totally agree… However , By opening the airport to visitors , Kauai will be vulnerable to variants

  12. Noe May 3, 2021 3:32 pm Reply

    Why are we not hearing about all these job sites that had Covid positive workers and yet they never shut down the sites. Instead they bring in more employees. To expose them? Has greed taken over ? Money over lives? Sad

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