Faith-based college in Kona beset by COVID-19 releases students from lockdown

Faith-based college in Kona beset by COVID-19 releases students from lockdown
United Nations of Kona campus (Source: YWAM Kona)

KONA, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of the Nations Kona says it released students from lockdown this week after a total of 52 people tested positive for COVID-19.

The outbreak began in late September, according to the school’s media relations department. University officials eventually went on to conduct mass-testing for nearly 1,000 students and staff.

On Sunday, officials said Big Island mayor Harry Kim gave the school the go-ahead to release all individuals with negative results from the lockdown.

Freshman James Anderson was still completing his 14-day quarantine when he was alerted that the school was going into lockdown. He spent about 16 straight days with his newly-acquired roommates.

“Mayor Kim is doing this with the best interest of everyone in mind,” Anderson said. “There are moments where you’re frustrated. You want to go to the each. But we’re visitors in Hawaii and we don’t want to just come in and disrespect the community. We want to do what’s right.”

Of the 52 positive cases, the university said Tuesday that 18 cases were still active.

The mayor has asked the university to complete another round of mass testing on Thursday.

Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.