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While DOE reports hundreds of COVID cases, leaders insist clusters not linked to public schools

Hawaii schools (Generic Image)
Hawaii schools (Generic Image)(HNN)
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 9:37 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Although the state Department of Education has reported nearly 2,500 COVID cases so far this semester, leaders insisted Wednesday that no clusters have been identified in any public schools.

In its most recent cluster report, the state Health Department said four clusters were in educational settings on Oahu and 10 on Maui. However, state officials said these recent clusters were not in DOE schools.

According to COVID data from the DOE, Campbell High School, Waipahu High School, Kapolei High School and Farrington High School have the highest case counts with 83, 51, 49 and 47 respectively.

Furthermore, the Education Department said that more 19,500 of its employees are vaccinated and roughly 2,400 are not.

Since the state began requiring employees to test weekly, DOE said there have been staff absences, but principals have been able to find personnel to cover.

The DOE said it is also working with a contractor called OET to offer more COVID testing in schools.

“My understanding is that once the the the conversation between the people who are setting up OET and the school is clear about how many tests they need and what their process is going to be, then it’s a matter of ordering it and getting it into their hands,” said Deputy Superintendent Phyllis Unebasami.

The DOE also recently launched a dashboard on its website with updated information on confirmed COVID cases in schools and offices.

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