The Kaua‘i District Health Office confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.
One of the cases is a child resident, who is a close contact of a case announced Thursday. The other case is an adult female resident. Both are community-acquired infections and neither is hospitalized. Their close contacts are being identified, directed to quarantine, and offered testing.
With today’s cases and the five reported yesterday, Kaua‘i now has 17 active cases, including two hospitalized.
“This week’s increase in cases is deeply worrisome,” said Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami. “New cases of community transmission show that the virus is spreading on our island again. Now is the time to keep your guard up and remain vigilant. Please wear your mask, keep a safe physical distance from others, and avoid large gatherings, especially as we approach the holiday season.”
Both new cases appear to have acquired the illness locally, and not during travel.
Additionally, 44 close contacts are in Department of Health-directed quarantine. Kaua‘i’s cumulative case total is now 88. Of those, 79 are confirmed, one is probable, and eight are confirmed positive tests performed out-of-state or off-island but reported after their arrival to Kaua‘i.
“The threat we face from COVID-19 is greater now than at any earlier point in the pandemic. We must consider decisive policy actions in addition to continued diligence in mask-wearing and other protective behaviors,” said Kaua‘i District Health Officer Janet Berreman.
Community spread, Berreman added, is the biggest risk that travel poses.
“When we travel, or when visitors come to our island, disease is introduced here. Once introduced, it behaves as it has everywhere else in the world: it spreads rapidly through communities unless brought under control by local action. We don’t want to lose all the headway we have made in the months since March,” she said.
With today’s cases, Kaua‘i’s daily average over a one-week period is approaching two. If it reaches two and stays there, Kaua‘i County will move to Tier 3, prompting additional restrictions. For more information and to view the current daily average and for information on the county’s voluntary post-travel testing program, please visit kauai.gov/COVID-19.
For more information on the state’s COVID-19 cases or the state’s Safe Travels program, visit hawaiicovid19.com.
For information on the county’s new surge testing program, visit kauai.gov/test.