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DOH says poor classroom ventilation likely contributed to cluster of 30 COVID cases

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 4:00 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 29, 2021 at 5:11 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Department of Health is urging vigilance after a COVID cluster that led to a total of 30 infections was linked to an elementary school on Oahu.

In its latest cluster report, DOH said seven people in a classroom of 30 students and staff tested positive for the virus in August and September.

Officials said another person who displayed COVID symptoms was also linked to the cluster.

The Health Department said the virus then spread to 22 secondary cases among household members. There were a total of six breakthrough cases — one staff member and five secondary cases.

Officials said one household member, who was unvaccinated, was hospitalized.

DOH said multiple mitigation strategies were enforced at the school — including mask wearing, social distancing and on-campus screening and testing. But officials said ventilation in the classroom could have been improved.

Officials said teachers had closed windows and doors to limit outdoor noise levels and to maintain the central air conditioning.

DOH said it has since provided the school with options and guidance to improve ventilation and airflow in the classroom as well as other methods to prevent the spread of COVID between students.

While the state said the number of clusters are trending downwards, officials ask the public to do their part to protect those around them and keiki. They also encouraged those eligible to get vaccinated.

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