The Kaua‘i District Health Office reports a new positive case of COVID-19 today.
Kaua‘i’s newest case is an adult male resident who recently returned home from travel. The man did participate in the state’s pre-travel testing program with a negative test result, but a post-travel test ordered by his provider came back positive. The case is in isolation at home. The Department of Health’s contact tracing investigation has identified several close contacts, all of whom are in quarantine and will be offered a test.
Additionally, a female employee with the Department of Education who recently tested positive for the virus was confirmed to be a false positive. This individual is no longer considered an active case and all close contacts of that individual have been released from quarantine.
“There are varying sensitivities of COVID tests, but even the best tests are not 100% accurate,” said Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman. “This is why our case investigation is critically important. We determine a patient’s medical information, exposure and travel history to get a comprehensive assessment. In this case, the test results did not match the assessment. The individual was re-tested twice, using a PCR test on a nasopharyngeal swab, which is considered the ‘gold standard’ of tests. Both results returned negative and we are confident that her initial test was a false positive and she did not have COVID-19.”
Kaua‘i’s current status as of Thursday morning is three active cases involving two residents and one visitor. All cases are travel related. The DOH has identified 11 close contacts of these cases who are now in quarantine. Kaua‘i’s cumulative case count is 63 and one probable case.
Post-travel testing is available to both residents and visitors who traveled to Kaua‘i from the mainland and participated in the state’s Safe Travel Program. Testing is available no sooner than 72 hours after arrival and up to 14 days, but the preferable time is five to seven days after arrival for best results. Many travelers are not on island that long and in those cases, a test three days after arrival is encouraged.
“Kaua‘i’s recent cases remind us that this is a complicated disease and there is still a lot we don’t know,” said Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami. “What we do know is that the best way to avoid getting infected is to wear our mask, keep our distance from others, wash our hands, and avoid large gatherings. If you must travel, please consider a full 14-day quarantine upon your return home. If that’s not possible, take a pre- and post-travel test.”