2 More Community Spread Cases of Omicron Variant Detected in Hawaii
The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) reports two additional confirmed Omicron variant COVID-19 cases and several possible points of exposure in Hawai‘i.
“It is imperative that all Hawai‘i residents work together to limit the spread of the Omicron variant,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble. “These additional cases and points of exposure show that Omicron is in our community, and the best thing we can do is to get vaccinated, continue to wear a mask and get tested if you feel ill or had contact with a COVID-19 positive individual.”
DOH’s State Laboratories Division (SLD) confirmed two additional Omicron variant cases, both in O‘ahu residents. Neither of these cases reported travel outside of the state. Both of the cases confirmed today were fully vaccinated and reported mild to moderate symptoms. Neither is hospitalized. Possible links to the case confirmed last week are being investigated.
SLD is also in the process of sequencing an additional eight COVID-19 specimens received since Friday with a “molecular clue” suggesting possible Omicron variant. SLD is also performing enhanced molecular surveillance of neighbor island specimens this week to look for Omicron but at this time, no Omicron cases have been confirmed outside of O‘ahu.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has notified DOH that Hawai‘i residents were on the attendee list at a New York City anime convention associated with Omicron variant cases reported in other states. The exact number of attendees has not yet been confirmed, but a dozen or more Hawai‘i residents may have attended the convention. DOH will be contacting convention attendees who have returned to the state to assess for symptoms and to ensure access to testing.
DOH is also issuing guidance to members of an O‘ahu church because of the imminent health threat posed by the Omicron variant. Members of Christ Embassy Hawai‘i and members of the public who attended events organized by Christ Embassy on or after Nov. 23, 2021, are being urged to test for COVID-19. While the church is headquartered in Waipahu, events related to the organization are held across O‘ahu. Events include a recent outreach event in Kalihi near the Mayor Wright Homes.