Coronavirus Updates

KFD Reports Lowest Vaccination Rate Among County Employees

By Tiffany DeMasters

Posted August 28, 2021, 10:00 AM HST ·Updated August 28, 10:20 AM

Unvaccinated county employees will be required to submit a weekly COVID-19 test starting Aug. 29.

Overall, approximately 77% of the countyʻs workforce is fully vaccinated. Roughly 250 employees will be required to participate in the weekly testing program.

The new policy is in compliance with Gov. David Igeʻs latest emergency proclamation requiring all state and county employees to be vaccinated or test weekly for the virus.

Employees were required to provide an attestation form to the county that confirms their vaccination status. With roughly 1,300 employees, the county collected 100% of attestation forms, not including those who are currently on leave.

The lowest number of vaccinated county employees come from the Kauaʻi Fire Department with 50 to 60% percent being vaccinated, officials report.

“Many have cited personal reasons for their choice of vaccination,” KFD officials stated.

KFD has a procedure in place from the Human Resources Department and within the department to ensure compliance with the Governor’s weekly testing requirement for non-vaccinated personnel.

“Vaccinations are not mandated for County of Kaua‘i associates,” KFD officials stated. “The Kaua‘i Fire Department strongly encourages personnel to get vaccinated to protect themselves.”

KFD does follow the protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Hawaiʻi Department of Health when responding to all COVID-related calls. KFD officials say the first responders will don the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and apply a mask to the patient if they can tolerate it.

“We observe social distancing and limit our contact time with the patient when feasible,” KFD stated.

Following the call, personnel remove the medical PPE and sanitize and disinfect their equipment at the scene. They monitor their health and do not report to work if they are sick. They contact their primary care physician and get tested. The Incident is reported to their immediate supervisor for additional follow-up and reporting.

At this time, KFD reports a low number of personnel out due to quarantine. There are no employees on DOH-directed quarantine.

Below is a breakdown of county departments and the vaccination rates among their employees.

70 to 80% vaccination rate:
Parks & Recreation
Police
Public Works
Water

80 to 90% vaccination rate:
County Attorney
Economic Development
Elderly Affairs
Finance
Housing
Liquor
Transportation

90 to 100% vaccination rate:
Emergency Management
Human Resources
Mayor’s Office
Planning
Prosecutors

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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