Coronavirus Updates

Sole Active COVID-19 Case Believed to be Community Transmitted

By Tiffany DeMasters

Posted August 27, 2020, 8:58 AM HST ·Updated August 27, 9:03 AM

The current active COVID-19 case on Kaua‘i is believed to be community transmitted, officials confirmed. The cumulative total of cases remains at 56 as of Aug. 26.

During a press briefing on Wednesday, Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami said the island’s sole active case is in isolation and close contacts have been notified. While most of the recent cases have been linked to travel, the State Department of Health confirmed this latest case had no known travel connections and is considered to be community transmission.

“This is not the first case of community transmission on Kaua‘i,” Kawakami explained.

Kaua‘i residents have avoided widespread outbreak through active contact tracing, proper isolation and quarantine from cooperating cases and close contacts.

“But it serves as a warning,” the mayor said. “As a community, we need to be extremely diligent and assume we have the virus and those around us have the virus so we take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and those around us.”

While a lot of focus has been given on the risk through travel, Kaua‘i District Health Officer Janet Berreman said, it may give the impression the threat of COVID-19 is only from the outside.

This is not the case.

“One of the problems with COVID-19 is someone can be asymptomatic and still spread the disease,” Berreman said.

With Honolulu and the neighbor islands seeing more cases, Berreman said, it serves as a warning for Kaua‘i. Many of the cases identified on the other islands have been linked to social gatherings, from funerals to backyard get-togethers to gatherings at the beach.

“As a community, we need to keep up our guard and follow the existing rules,” Berreman urged.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Kauai Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat. Tiffany is an award-winning journalist, receiving recognition from the Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists. Tiffany grew up on the Big Island and is passionate about telling the community’s stories.
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