In its latest information briefing released Thursday, Kaua‘i health officials said the number of increased COVID-19 cases is likely due to new subvariants found in Hawai‘i.
The XE subvariant has been detected on O‘ahu, they said, and is more transmissible than the relatively new BA2 subvariant, but cases haven’t spiked, though they have risen slightly. Kauai’s test positivity rate is 12%, also up from last week.
Kaua‘i’s seven-day average is now 10 cases, up from six last week. The number of new cases does not include home test results, so the actual number is probably higher, they said.
The XE subvariant is not a strain that will make people more sick, however.
On Wednesday, the state Department of Health reported 1,736 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to 245,035. Seventeen new fatalities were reported.
On Kaua‘i, there are now 12,049 total cases documented.