LIHU‘E — Health officials reported another record number of new COVID-19 cases on Kaua‘i on Saturday, with 16 new cases reported on May 1 and evidence of several clusters on the island.
All 16 cases are adult Kaua‘i residents whose sources of infection are considered community-acquired.
Health officials’ investigations last week have also determined that multiple clusters of disease transmission were traced back to two Kaua‘i restaurants.
“A number of our recent new COVID cases spent time at Rob’s Good Times Grill in Lihu‘e and at Troy’s Bar in Lihu‘e between April 16 and 29, and we have evidence that disease transmission took place,” said Dr. Janet Berreman of the state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office.
“If you were at Rob’s Good Times Grill or Troy’s Bar from Friday, April 16 through Thursday April 29, you may have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, and we encourage you to get tested as soon as possible,” she said.
According to the DOH, individuals who were infectious with COVID-19 also attended the ‘Ekolu Mea Nui drive-in concert at Vidinha Stadium in Lihu‘e on April 24 and the Sheraton Kaua‘i Coconut Beach Resort Brunch Babes show in Waipouli on April 17 or 18.
While COVID-19 guidelines were in place at both events, county officials urge individuals who attended any of these performances to consider being tested if they develop symptoms or are concerned.
Saturday, the DOH reported Kaua‘i is now averaging new cases a day over 14 days.
According to an average of the number of daily cases reported from April 25 to May 1, Kaua‘i was averaging 8.7 cases over seven days as of Saturday. According to the Kaua‘i Business and Recreational Guidelines for COVID-19, that puts Kaua‘i into Tier 1, which is triggered when there is a 7-day case count average of eight or higher.
Kaua‘i, however, is still in Tier 4 of the county’s COVID guidelines, according to a Friday update from Mayor Derek Kawakami.
Kawakami said a move down a tier could be imminent, but said “any additional restriction should address the current cause of transmission,” pointing out the tier chart was created “many months ago, when we were in a different situation.”
So, County of Kaua‘i hasn’t made any moves to change tiers, yet.
“At this time, our Incident Management Team is reviewing all of our options to reach our best path forward, one that will help us to contain our case counts quickly in order for us to get back up and running. We will update you as soon as we’ve made a determination on any new rule or restriction,” Kawakami said Friday.
Saturday, DOH maps showed the greatest concentration of people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Kaua‘i in the past 14 days stretched roughly from Lihu‘e to Anahola.
Saturday’s cases bring the number of active cases to 66, with 315 cumulative cases. Kaua‘i’s cumulative case count includes 278 confirmed locally, two probable, and 35 positive cases diagnosed elsewhere, as they received their pre-travel test results after arriving on island. All active cases are in isolation, and close contacts are being identified, directed to quarantine and offered testing.
Testing is available today from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wilcox Medical Center in Lihu‘e.
Free testing at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Upon arrival at the test center, you will receive an appointment time to return later in the day. Appointments are given on a first-come, first-served basis.
There are a maximum of 350 appointments a day.
Testing is also available through primary-care physicians, hospitals and urgent-care clinics.
Health officials suggest those who are feeling sick should isolate immediately, stay away from household members and not go out — including to work or school — unless you are seeking testing or to get health care.
Those who have been vaccinated should still be tested if they believe they may have been exposed or feel sick.
“We would like to thank the community for your quick response to get tested, and we especially thank these businesses for their cooperation and willingness to work together to prevent further transmission of this disease,” said Berreman.
“I am also grateful for our business community and those taking the right steps to protect the health and safety of our people,” said Kawakami. “We know what needs to be done to stop the spread of this virus. Please wear your mask, avoid large gatherings, get tested if you’ve been exposed, and get vaccinated if you’re able.”
Jessica Else, editor, can be reached at 245-0457 or email@example.com.