Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 |
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LIHU‘E — COVID-19 cases are rising on-island, statewide and nationally, the County of Kaua‘i reported Thursday.
The uptick is likely due to the omicron variant’s BA.2 subvariant, which has become the dominant coronavirus lineage in the U.S.
“Thankfully, cases are not spiking at levels we have seen in the past,” Mayor Derek Kawakami said during the latest weekly county briefing on April 21.
The County of Kaua‘i’s current seven-day average is 10 cases per day, according the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency’s online data dashboard.
That’s up from six cases a day last week, according to the mayor.
The county’s current test positivity rate, or the percentage of all tests reported that are positive, is 12.5%.
But the actual number of current cases is likely higher, Kawakami said.
“Our case count only reports cases confirmed in a lab and does not include results from home test kits,” he explained.
Earlier this month, the county completed distribution of 15,000 home test kits to residents across the island.
It was the second such program offered by the county and the state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office, and a third round will be offered sometime in early May.
The local cumulative case count is now 12,049, with 28 fatalities (a fatality rate of 0.2%).
No one in Kaua‘i County is now hospitalized due to COVID-19, the HIEMA dashboard shows.
A case of the new XE subvariant was confirmed on O‘ahu last week.
“Which means this new subvariant is likely spreading around the state now,” Kawakami said. “Health officials say XE is slightly more transmissible than BA.2. but does not appear to make you more sick.”
More testing opportunities
Lihu‘e Pharmacy has ended free community COVID-19 testing, but the County’s free testing center at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e remains open five days a week on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., for free same-day tests.
The on-island mobile testing van continues to make its rounds, and is in Kekaha on Wednesdays, Kilauea on Thursdays, Kalaheo on Fridays, Hanalei on Saturdays and Kapa’a on Sundays.
The van is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.
Residents can now order a second round of free home test kits from the federal government, as well.
Each U.S. household is eligible to order two sets of four tests. Visit covid.gov/tests to order your first or second set.
Scott Yunker, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or email@example.com.
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