Vegas, churches cause of Kaua‘i COVID uptick

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i officials are pointing to Las Vegas travel and places of worship for a recent spike in COVID-19 infections.

“Many of the recent cases are in residents who traveled to the mainland, where the delta variant is spreading rapidly,” Mayor Derek Kawakami reported Monday. “The biggest hotspot for bringing COVID home to Kaua‘i? Las Vegas. I know Las Vegas is a popular destination, but it poses significant risks. Most of the popular activities are indoors and can be crowded.”

Unlike Hawai‘i, there is no indoor mask mandate in Las Vegas, a hotspot for tourism often referenced as the Ninth Island.

“Visitors usually stay indoors for a long time,” Kawakami said. “They mingle with others from all over the country, including from states where COVID and the delta variant are spreading rapidly.”

Here on-island, the Kaua‘i District Health Office reported another cluster within a place of worship that has resulted in four primary or secondary cases as of Monday.

“This makes two currently active clusters in places of worship, and five to date since the pandemic began,” KDHO Public Health Preparedness Planner Lauren Guest said Monday. “This is more clusters than we have had in any other setting type. We often find in the course of these investigations, a number of people were not wearing masks or observing physical distancing requirements.”

Only one new case was reported yesterday in an adult resident who is a close contact of a previously announced case. This case will be classified as mainland travel-related, the KDHO reported. This past weekend, the county reported 12 new cases, eight adult residents, two resident children and two adult visitors. Six are classified as travel-related and six are community transmission.

Guest reminded residents and visitors alike to wear masks within indoor settings, as well as limit exposure to those outside the household and to get vaccinated.

Statewide, over 65% of Hawai‘i residents have started the process of vaccination, with about 59% fully vaccinated, according to the state’s Department of Health.

As of Monday, about 59% of Kaua‘i residents have completed inoculation. About 69% of the eligible population for a vaccine against COVID-19, including those 12 and older, have been fully vaccinated, DOH numbers show.

Over 1.7 million doses of vaccines have been administered as of Sunday in the state, the DOH reported. Honolulu County has the highest rate of vaccination, at this time, at 61% of the total population completed.

“A majority of us are now vaccinated, but we need to reach at least 70% to achieve herd immunity and protect our community,” Kawakami said.

Once the state hits a population of 70% fully vaccinated, restrictions on travel and mask-wearing will be lifted.

Currently, the county has 49 active cases, with two hospitalized.

Kaua‘i’s cumulative case count includes 476 confirmed locally, three probable, and 41 positive cases diagnosed elsewhere, as they received their pre-travel test results after arriving on island.

12 Comments
  1. Major Lee Hung July 20, 2021 12:20 am Reply

    Another reason not to go to church.


  2. I saw a Vampire once July 20, 2021 12:55 am Reply

    Did they take a vaccine before they left? I am not sure what the procedures are. I am not really into that procedures and stuff. I’ll just wait it out awhile then travel. But for now, no traveling for this guy. And even to Kaua’i. Too risky to catch a virus. SARS-Co-v2, and this virus before Wuhan, China, did this virus have any bats bacteria or virus in it?


  3. Tony Albertoni July 20, 2021 4:38 am Reply

    This article would have been more accurate if it would have made the headline “Unvaccinated People Cause of Kauai COVID Uptick” instead of pointing fingers at Las Vegas and churches. Many of the COVID victims could have avoided it with the simple vaccine that is readily available, and everyone I know who has come down with and spread COVID to their family members wish that now they had. Unfortunately, so many of us have to learn the hard way.


    1. Ehh Antonio July 20, 2021 10:11 pm Reply

      How many people do you know that have gotten covid and spread it to all their family members. Vaccinated individuals can also be a spreader, also depending which vaccine you get you can shed the virus infecting others.


    2. Look at the facts July 20, 2021 10:29 pm Reply

      Have you looked at the VAERS report lately? Apparently not although it is readily available thru the CDC. More people have died from the vaccine than from Covid June 26-July 9. Over 4k deaths just from the vaccine and over 3k from Covid.


      1. Whomever July 21, 2021 5:13 pm Reply

        Also from the CDC VAERS page this: “Because VAERS allows anyone to report possible side effects from vaccines, it includes reports that might or might not be caused by vaccines. VAERS is not designed to identify cause and effect. VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness. Some reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. Most reports to VAERS are voluntary, which means they are subject to biases. Data from VAERS reports should always be interpreted with these limitations in mind.”


      2. RGLadder37 July 21, 2021 5:50 pm Reply

        Where did you get this news? It sounds like a national enquirer news. That type. How did you account for so many deaths from the vaccine?


  4. nobody July 20, 2021 6:13 am Reply

    After all that whining about tourists bringing Covid to the island the truth is it’s our residents, almost exclusively.


  5. todd anderson July 20, 2021 7:10 am Reply

    Derek,
    I guess the max amount of people gathering indoors doesn’t apply to people in a church?
    Or maybe it is your church. Selective enforcement is fascism. This would be in alignment with the way you lead and that is gross.


  6. Peter July 20, 2021 7:33 am Reply

    Five clusters on the island due to places of worship ?!? So many religious people in this country only care abut themselves and their small fellowship but not the greater community they live in. If you did, you’d mask-up, social distance and get vaccinated.


  7. Westside Lady July 20, 2021 11:47 am Reply

    Vegas or Church does not bring in Covid. People who are neglecting their health is.
    If you are not brought up to take care of your personal hygienic needs people won’t know how to take care of themselves and some people just don’t care even with all the information given them. They disrespect the use of masks which in reality is a pain to wear as well as breathing in saliva of stale food trapped in teeth that can cause bacterial infections. Government offered us the vaccine and people are taking it like the flu/pneumonia vaccine thinking that it will help prevent illnesses like COVID but it is not proven nor will pharmaceutical establishments who create the vaccine take any responsibility of suit upon death of their loved one due to presumed COVID or really sometimes medical underlying issues that complicated their health.
    Instead of sharing numbers of cases with our aina why not keep it for those that need their data like DOH and task forces who assigned to keep doing their jobs.
    Continue to work on transportation back ups, the homeless, affordable living, safe lightning for our streets and highways, and more demands for job searches or you lose unemployment and child endangerment! Thank you!
    A very concerned Citizen


    1. Yessah July 20, 2021 10:13 pm Reply

      Westside lady. You are absolutely right. Thank you.


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