Kauai health officials investigate coronavirus clusters, their variants
HONOLULU (KHON2) – The Kauai District Health Unit said several clusters of COVID-19 transmission on the island have been traced at two local restaurants.
Health officials made the announcement on Saturday, May 1, after surveys conducted during the week of Monday, April 26.
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Kauai District Health Officer Dr Janet Berreman said the transmission took place at Rob’s Good Times Grill and Troy’s Bar, both in Līhu’e.
“A number of our recent new COVID cases spent time at Rob’s Good Times Grill in Līhu’e and / or Troy’s Bar in Līhu’e between April 16 and 29, and we have evidence that transmission of disease has occurred. If you were at Rob’s Good Times Grill or Troy’s Bar from Friday April 16 to Thursday April 29, you may have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, and we encourage you to get tested as soon as possible. “
Dr Janet Berreman, Kauai District Health Specialist
Officials say infectious people also attended the ‘Ekolu Mea Nui drive-in concert at Vidinha Stadium in Līhu’e on April 24 and the Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort Brunch Babes show in Kapa’a on Saturday April 17 or Sunday. April 18. .
Tests are available Sunday, May 2 at Wilcox Medical Center. Kauai health officials say the new COVID-19 cases reported on Saturday are taken for granted by the community.
Kauai went from the state’s lowest test positivity rate during the week of Monday, April 5, to its highest at 3.2% on Saturday, May 1. That’s higher than Oahu and the Island of Hawaii combined.
Dr Berreman says cases are expected to emerge once the island joins Safe Travels, but not at such a rapid rate.
In April, many Kauai residents began traveling and cruising the islands once the island joined the state’s Safe Travels program, allowing passengers to bypass quarantine after returning home.
Some residents have unknowingly returned with the virus and some have returned with more contagious strains.
“We knew that when we reopened Safe Travels, we were losing an extra layer of security that had helped keep our island safe over the past year, and we knew we would have more illnesses, we hoped we would. it wouldn’t increase high so quickly, ”said Dr. Berreman.
UK and California variants have already been detected on Garden Isle. The island is awaiting lab results on other samples to see if there are other strains contributing to the spread.
“I don’t expect this to be anything fancy, I think we’re going to see more of what we see in most places. So we’re going to see more of what we see in California and more of what we see in Oahu and Maui, as this is where our travels take place and remember these are our local residents, primarily. So that’s where our people travel, and a lot of it is just inter-island and then it’s usually the west coast, ”she explained.
Kauai leads the state for vaccines by population and has seen increased demand after the recent increase in cases.
“The doctor I work with a lot from the Kaiser Clinic here said as soon as the cases increased they started to see an increase in requests for vaccine appointments,” Dr. Berreman said.
The island has also seen a big jump in COVID-19 testing. Dr Berreman explained that the island averaged 60 to 70 tests per day, then that number rose to around 350 per day on Wednesday.
Kauai County is holding free COVID-19 tests all weekend and encouraging residents to get tested as the virus spreads through the community.
Kauai has been in the least restrictive tier for months and has a tier system similar to Honolulu.
“Our numbers certainly indicate that we will meet the criteria to enter level three next week, if not level two,” said Dr Berreman. “So we’re in discussion with the mayor on what makes the most sense to do, I think we’re going to have to make some changes, we’re going to have to limit the spread here.”
She says there are ongoing discussions about changing the current tier structure and officials are considering vaccines and variants.
“We really encourage people to get vaccinated so that whatever additional restrictions need to be put in place, they don’t have to last as long as in many places in the past. We are at a very critical moment, and it is very worrying, ”she said.
Dr Berreman says the majority of active cases on Kauai are among unvaccinated residents.