Kaua‘i County records 142 new cases Dec. 30

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i recorded another county-high COVID-19 case count, and health officials are urging safe practices leading into the new year.

“As we head into the holiday weekend, I encourage residents to celebrate safely in smaller groups, outdoors, and with masks,” Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman said Thursday. “If you are sick, please stay home and do not participate in gatherings.”

Thursday, the Hawai‘i State Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office announced 142 new cases of COVID-19.

On the same day, the state recorded 3,484 new coronavirus cases, a state single-day high.

The state was averaging just over 100 new cases a day at the beginning of the month.

A previous record for new daily infections was set in August during the peak of the delta variant surge when the state recorded 1,678 new infections.

The latest surge came about two weeks after the first omicron variant case was confirmed in Hawai‘i.

State hospital officials have said they are already nearly full with non-coronavirus patients and worry about staffing shortages affecting their ability to care for a possible surge of new COVID-19 patients.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said there would be no new restrictions on O‘ahu over the New Year holiday. He said people should take personal responsibility to help curb the spread of the disease.

The statewide average test positivity rate was around 15% Thursday. O‘ahu, the state’s most populous island, has an average test positivity rate of more than 16%.

The state saw more than 700,000 travelers in December, according to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.

Hawai‘i requires travelers to be vaccinated or provide a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours before arrival, or face quarantine.

Top health officials said last week that leaders are discussing the possibility of requiring a booster shot to avoid travel quarantine and testing. They are also considering shortening the window allowed for obtaining a negative COVID-19 test before travel.

The U.S. now requires international travelers to test within 24 hours of their trip, regardless of nationality or vaccination status.

Ahead of the New Years holiday, the DOH has recommended:

• Limit gatherings to household members

• Celebrate with fully vaccinated & boosted people

• Gather outside

• Wear masks inside

• Maintain distance

• Take extra precautions to protect kupuna and those who can’t get vaccinated.

Pediatric vaccines for those 5 to 11 are available at Walmart, Longs Drugs at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e and Kaiser Permanente.

The Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e is closed today in observation of the New Year’s holiday. It will reopen Monday.

A free mobile testing van is available for walk-ins from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex in Kapa‘a on Sunday. The testing clinics normally open in Kalaheo on Fridays and Hanalei on Saturdays are closed this week in observance of the holiday, and will reopen next week.

Free drive-thru testing at Lihu‘e Pharmacy is closed on New Year’s Day and will reopen on Sunday, Jan. 2. Appointments can be made at AlohaClear.com.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  1. Kauai Senior Citizen December 31, 2021 4:36 am Reply

    No one has the stomach for another shut down but maybe a short 2-3 week shut down is warranted in order to control the numbers. Our health and well being is foremost. What good is money if we area sick or dead.

    1. No December 31, 2021 10:19 am Reply

      Absolutely not. The fear is driving the strain on medical resources more than anything. Vitamin C, D, zinc and quercetin. Rest and hydrate. You’re worried? That’s fine. Stay home. We have all the resources for you to have groceries, medications and anything you need delivered.

  2. David December 31, 2021 11:50 am Reply

    Hey senior, COVID cases does not equal COVID deaths. We are not shutting down our economy because a few people have a seasonal flu that they can’t distinguish from seasonal allergies. Enough with the hysteria. Enough with the masks and mandates.

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