Report: 38 COVID cases linked to cluster at Oahu fast food eatery

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Vaccine Image / Generic(Hawaii News Now)
Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 2:22 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new state Health Department report is highlighting several recent COVID clusters at Hawaii restaurants, including one linked to 38 infections.

The state said the cluster was at an Oahu fast food eatery in late April.

Of the eatery’s 35 employees, 11 contracted COVID-19 ― and none of those workers were vaccinated. Meanwhile, the cluster involved 27 secondary cases among household members.

The state noted that employees were allowed to work with symptoms.

The eatery closed after the first employee tested positive for COVID and remained closed for 15 days.

There was also a worrisome restaurant cluster on Molokai in May.

In that case, six employees contracted COVID-19. The state noted that none of those who got COVID had been vaccinated and mask compliance was low among kitchen staff.

The Health Department said the risk of transmission in restaurants is high because people often work in hot, cramped spaces with poor ventilation.

“Vaccination can prevent COVID-19 transmission and vaccination eliminates the quarantine requirement after exposure,” the state said, in the report.

“These two vaccination benefits can help restaurants and businesses stay open and reduce the negative financial impact on employees and owners.”

To read the full report, click here.

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