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Kauai in CDC’s red zone for COVID transmission, but no new rules planned

The CDC has moved Kauai to the highest risk level of COVID community transmission, but the county’s mayor says the rules will remain the same.
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 3:28 PM HST|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 3:46 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The CDC has moved Kauai to the highest risk level of COVID community transmission, but the county’s mayor says the rules will remain the same.

For counties in the red zone, the CDC recommends mask wearing for residents indoors.

“We think that perhaps we’re over those days where we have to require things,” Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami said. “At the beginning, it was very necessary to do so.

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“And then our community got vaccinated. And then we start to see a very well-informed community that knows how to respond when the circumstances change.”

The average test positivity on Kauai is at 20%.

Kawakami said he believes that the high rate is due to testing availability.

“What that tells me is that our community is trying to do the right thing,” Kawakami said. “If they feel sick, they’re obviously going to get a test.”

The Healthcare Association of Hawaii says there are 11 patients with COVID hospitalized in Kauai.

Kawakami said hospitals are in a “stable place.”

He said health care workers are kept busy with flu and colds, but the vaccination rates have kept the island out of a bleak situation.

“We’re not starting to see what we had feared at the very beginning is having an overabundance of patients trying to access health care with very little beds,” Kawakami said.

The mayor wanted to remind residents to be responsible during the busy graduation season.

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