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Large COVID-19 cluster warrants caution on Kaua’i

Posted on Nov 15, 2021 in COVID-19, Newsroom

HONOLULU – The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) is issuing guidance to a Kaua‘i church and its congregation because of the imminent health threat posed by a large cluster of COVID-19 cases.

King’s Chapel, Kaua‘i, in Nawiliwili congregants are encouraged to participate in virtual services and avoid in-person church activities until the cluster is contained.

People who attended events hosted by King’s Chapel Nawiliwili on or after October 31, especially youth group activities, are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19. They should closely monitor themselves for symptoms including fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat or loss of taste or smell. If symptoms develop, they are advised to self-quarantine and seek medical consultation.

King’s Chapel Nawiliwili hosted a “Trunk or Treat” event on October 31 for Halloween. Anyone who attended this event—especially anyone who was un-masked or who interacted for 15 minutes or more with others—should get tested.

COVID cases associated with King’s Chapel were identified as a cluster on November 8, with cases dating back at least as far as October 31. DOH has worked with affected individuals, families and with church representatives to recommend containment measures including isolation, quarantine, switching to virtual services and other prevention measures. The cluster has increased from 16 cases when first detected, to 36 COVID-19 cases as of November 12, including four secondary cases in household contacts. More cases are expected to be identified as the investigation and testing continue.

Those infected range from under two years of age to over 60 years of age. This spread indicates transmission beyond the immediate King’s Chapel community.

“DOH discloses cluster locations when there is an imminent risk to public health. Based on the findings of our investigation, we believe disclosure is warranted to prevent further transmission of the disease,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble.

Kaua‘i case counts are the highest per capita in the state and have risen over the last two weeks. It is critically important people wear masks indoors, maintain physical distance, avoid crowds, and wash hands regularly. Anyone who feels sick or believes they are coming down with a cold should not go to work or school.

Anyone who feels ill should be tested.  Equally important, anyone who attended a King’s Chapel function on or after October 31 or believes they may have been exposed should get tested.  Testing is widely available on Kaua‘i. Visit Kauai.gov/COVIDtest for details of testing options.  

Kaua‘i DOH staff will work with anyone who tests positive to minimize their risk of exposing others.  DOH will assist with accessing care, including monoclonal antibody treatment to decrease severity of illness.

DOH encourages everyone five years of age and older who is not yet vaccinated to consider getting vaccinated before the holidays.

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PDF: Large COVID-19 cluster warrants caution on Kauai