Kaua‘i officials anticipate rise in cases

LIHU‘E — Monday, the Hawai‘i State Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office reported 10 new cases of COVID-19. Two of these cases are of visitors and the rest are residents. All 10 cases are adults.

“We are anticipating a rise in cases over the next few weeks due to gatherings and travel around the holiday,” Kaua‘i Deputy District Health Officer Lauren Guest said Monday.

Two of the cases are related to mainland travel. The remaining eight cases are considered community-acquired. Six of the community-acquired infections are close contacts of a previously announced case or are tied to an active cluster. The remaining two cases have no known source of infection as investigators have been unable to reach them after repeated attempts or they have refused to provide information.

The county is currently monitoring six active clusters, which includes one education setting, one restaurant, one food supplier, one social gathering, one construction setting and one other work setting.

Monday’s cases bring the number of active cases to 124, with 11 hospitalized.

To date, the county has recorded 3,276 cumulative cases.

Monday, the state DOH reported two additional confirmed omicron variant COVID-19 cases, both in O‘ahu residents, as well as several points of exposure in the state. Last week, the department announced the first case.

Neither of these two new cases reported travel outside of the state. Both of the cases were fully vaccinated and reported mild to moderate symptoms. Neither is hospitalized.

“It is imperative that all Hawai‘i residents work together to limit the spread of the omicron variant,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble said in a news release. “These additional cases and points of exposure show that omicron is in our community, and the best thing we can do is to get vaccinated, continue to wear a mask and get tested if you feel ill or had contact with a COVID-19 positive individual.”

The state’s laboratories division is also in the process of sequencing eight more COVID-19 specimens received since Friday with a “molecular clue” suggesting a possible omicron variant. SLD is also performing enhanced molecular surveillance of neighbor island specimens this week to look for omicron, but at this time, no omicron cases have been confirmed outside of O‘ahu.

“It’s clear that it is already widespread in the country — and we should expect to detect it here on Kaua‘i before too long,” Guest said. “We are still learning about how omicron is affected by vaccines, but every indication is that current vaccines provide some level of protection from severe disease and death, even for the omicron variant — and of course, we know they provide strong protection from the delta variant, which continues to be the most common.”

One person who tested positive for the omicron variant on O‘ahu is believed to have attended Christ Embassy Hawai‘i on O‘ahu events, causing the DOH to believe that there are several more positive cases associated with the church. The church, headquartered in Waipahu, held events across O‘ahu and some members of recently traveled to a country identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having a high risk for omicron variant cases.

Free testing is available at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A free, mobile-testing van is available for walk-ins from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center on Wednesdays. A list of free testing locations and hours can be found at kauai.gov/COVIDtest.

The Wilcox Medical Center pediatric clinic is open Tuesday and Thursday for vaccinations. Appointments are required. Visit wilcoxhealth.org/vaccine. The clinic for children ages 5 to 11 at Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waimea is open Wednesday afternoons from 2 to 5 p.m. Walk-ins are accepted at KVMH and no appointments are needed.

Kaiser Permanente’s Lihu‘e Clinic accepts walk-ins or advance appointments for vaccinations for everyone 5 and up. Appointments are available at kp.org.

All adults are now eligible for booster doses of vaccines.

A list of vaccination locations and hours can be found at kauai.gov/vaccine.

  1. LaRae Stirn December 8, 2021 3:43 pm Reply

    Of course you’re expecting new cases, lol. Hawaii is a liberal state that doesn’t want to let go of “control.”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.