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13 New COVID-19 Cases on Kaua‘i, First Uptick in Months

People line up to get COVID-19 vaccinations in Lihue on March 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
AP Photo/Caleb Jones
People line up to get COVID-19 vaccinations in Lihue, Hawaii, Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Kaua‘i reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, the first uptick of positive cases in many months. The island is also participating in the Safe Travels Program while encouraging residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Dr. Janet Berreman, Kaua‘i District Health Officer for the Department of Health, has been in contact with community health partners to find out if residents are still interested in getting the vaccine.

While about half of the population has completed their vaccinations, the last half does not seem as urgent to get vaccinated, she said. Vaccines have been open to anyone 16 and older since April 5.

Vaccinating more people is important because the island is seeing community spread for the first time.

“We are observing unrelated community-acquired infections island-wide. This indicates that for the first time, we have extensive and sustained community transmission on our island,” Berreman said in an earlier press release.

The uptick in cases, which the island has not seen in many months, is also driving a small uptick in demand for vaccines, she told The Conversation.

The 13 new cases are all among island residents--five children and eight adults. Three of them are linked to inter-island travel and the remaining 10 are being considered community-acquired, the department said.

The new cases bring the number of active cases to 43, with 283 cumulative cases, the department said.

“Now more than ever, if you have not been vaccinated, please schedule your appointment now. In addition to being vaccinated, it is crucial to stay home when you are sick, avoid social gatherings, distance, and wear your masks," she said in a press release.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
Sophia McCullough is a digital news producer. Contact her at news@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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