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Kauai to remain in Tier 4 for now as island deals with upward COVID case trend

Updated: Apr. 29, 2021 at 5:28 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kauai County officials are growing increasingly worried over signs of coronavirus spread within the island’s community.

On Thursday, the county independently reported 13 new cases.

A county spokesperson says three of the cases are related to inter-island travel, while the remaining are considered community spread. Of the new cases, eight were adults and five were children.

Officials said as of Wednesday night, there were 47 active cases, which is more than ever before.

Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami says they’re seeing “extensive and sustained community transmission” and the county may move into a more restrictive tier if cases continue to climb.

“We have received a lot of questions on when we might need to move down to Tier 3. Kaua’i’s Tier Rule, also known as Emergency Rule 19, requires us to hit a certain average of cases for 14 days,” Mayor Kawakami said. “While moving down a tier is not imminent, we are certainly headed in that direction.”

The mayor also said more tests are being conducted on the island, leading to more infections being detected. They continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated.

“We know that the vaccine is not 100% effective in preventing disease, but it provides a very high level of protection — and for those few who do become infected in spite of vaccine, they are unlikely to become seriously ill,” Dr. Janet Berreman, Kauai District Health Officer, said.

Kawakami said shifting tiers is an option that is being reserved until absolutely needed. In the meantime, he says residents should remember to abide by safe practices.

“At this point in the pandemic, we know what needs to be done to help stop the spread of COVID-19: Wear your mask in public, avoid gatherings, Stay home if you’re sick and consult your healthcare provider.”

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