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DOH: Maui County facing 21 clusters

Jail, social gatherings and tourism industry sources of larger spreads

The Maui News

Maui County had 21 active COVID-19 clusters as of Thursday, stemming from the jail, social gatherings, the tourism industry and other sectors.

Five clusters of 19 cases were related to travel, lodging and tourism, while another five clusters and 26 cases were connected to other occupational settings, according to the state Department of Health cluster report.

Two clusters of 27 cases were linked to social gatherings, while another cluster of 12 cases was tied to food suppliers, one cluster of nine cases came from a gym, one cluster of seven cases arose from construction and industrial settings and one cluster of five cases stemmed from a restaurant. Two clusters of 12 cases were attributed to other unspecified categories.

The biggest cluster continued to be at the Maui Community Correctional Center, which has seen 99 cases in its latest outbreak, according to the DOH, with 64 active cases as of Thursday, state Department of Public Safety data show.

Educational settings also were linked to two clusters of 16 cases. In total, Maui County school complexes reported 57 confirmed and probable cases this week, according to the state Department of Education.

Grappling with the worst of the recent COVID surge, Oahu had 22 active clusters, including two outbreaks of 120 cases at correctional facilities, 10 clusters of 97 cases among restaurants, three clusters of 28 cases in other occupational settings and three clusters of 23 cases tied to social gatherings. There were also two clusters of seven cases in construction and industrial settings and one cluster of nine cases in the travel, lodging and tourism industry, as well as one cluster of five cases among bars and nightclubs.

Despite averaging more than 100 cases a day, Hawaii County had just two clusters — one of eight cases in educational settings and one of eight cases in other occupational settings.

Kauai County had one cluster of 50 cases in correctional facilities, one cluster of 42 cases in educational settings and one cluster of 16 cases tied to restaurants.

The Health Department cautioned residents to continue wearing masks, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces and physically distancing from people at social gatherings.

In July, the department investigated a cluster of 23 cases associated with a concert at a bar on Oahu. Only four of the 16 employees, band members and concert attendees who tested positive were fully vaccinated, and none of the seven secondary cases among household members were vaccinated. The event has been linked to a cluster at a workplace and one at another concert.

The department also investigated a cluster of 17 cases associated with a wedding reception on Oahu in July. Eight of the 28 people in attendance were fully vaccinated. Twelve tested positive for COVID-19, including four who were fully vaccinated. Five household members were identified as secondary cases. While most wedding attendees with the virus had mild to moderate symptoms, two experienced severe cases and were hospitalized. One person who was hospitalized and not vaccinated died.

State officials have been pushing for residents to get vaccinated as the delta variant continues to swirl through the community. As of Friday, 61.7 percent of the total population statewide had been fully vaccinated, including 64 percent in Honolulu County, 61 percent in Kauai County, 58 percent in Hawaii County and 55 percent in Maui County.

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