LIHU‘E — In its highest single-day reported case count, Tuesday, the state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office reported 55 new cases of COVID-19.
This includes 32 cases linked to a cluster at Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center.
According to the state Department of Public Safety, of 125 inmates tested, 31 were positive and 94 were negative. One KCCC staff employee also tested positive.
“The Hawai‘i Department of Health is conducting contact tracing and investigation, but it is safe to say that the preliminary cause appears to be from the rapid community spread across our state,” DPS Deputy Director for Corrections Tommy Johnson said in a statement.
“PSD is doing everything in its power to mitigate community spread into the facilities and will continue to follow the pandemic plan which is based on DOH and Centers for Disease Control guidelines for correctional facilities.”
All inmate movement in and out of the facility is suspended, and testing will continue.
“The announcement today of a cluster at our correctional facility is concerning. Thirty-two of the community-acquired cases announced today are associated with this cluster,” said DOH Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman.
“The DOH is working closely with the Department of Public Safety to take appropriate measures to protect workers and inmates and to limit further spread. The investigation is ongoing, and the case count is likely to increase in the coming days. We know from statewide experience that (outbreaks at) correctional facilities spread quickly and are challenging to contain. Mahalo to those inmates and staff who are already vaccinated.”
Of the 55 cases reported island-wide, two are visitors and 53 are residents.
Four of the new cases are children and 51 are adults. Ten cases are travel-associated, seven mainland and three interisland.
The remaining 45 cases are considered community-acquired. Five of the community-acquired infections are close contacts of previously announced cases and 32 are tied to a new cluster identified at KCCC.
The remaining eight community-acquired cases have no known source of infection.
Tuesday’s cases bring the number of active cases to 146, with four hospitalized, and 777 cumulative cases.
Kaua‘i’s cumulative case count includes 723 confirmed locally, eight probable, and 46 positive cases diagnosed elsewhere, as they received their pre-travel test results after arriving on island.
Sabrina Bodon, editor, can be reached at 245-0441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.