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22 COVID-19 clusters under investigation in Maui County

The Maui News

Maui County had 22 COVID-19 clusters under investigation by the state Department of Health over the last two weeks, the most in the state.

Oahu followed with 15 clusters under investigation, while Kauai County had eight and Hawaii County had two, according to the DOH’s latest cluster report issued Thursday.

The clusters being investigated in Maui County include an outbreak of seven COVID-19 cases associated within an industrial work setting, according to the report.

Five employees, all unvaccinated, tested positive for the virus, the DOH said. Two secondary cases were identified among household members of the employees. Those cases were in children who were ineligible to get vaccinated. No cases were hospitalized.

The first employee with COVID-19 was at work during their infectious period and was symptomatic for four days. The sick employee rode in the same truck with other employees, which was probably where the other employees were exposed, resulting in workplace spread.

The business required masks and disinfected work areas every day, but poor ventilation in confined spaces, such as vehicles, increased the risk of transmission despite the other mitigation strategies the business had in place.

Of the five employees, three worked while infectious.

Although the employees worked in different areas, all employees reported to the main office to clock in and out of shifts each day. The main office is small, which made it difficult to social distance at shift changes. The DOH said employers should stagger shifts to prevent crowding so employees can safely clock in and out.

Among other clusters in Maui County, five were in an educational setting for a total of 45 cases, two clusters of 13 cases were among food suppliers, one cluster in a restaurant resulted in five cases, two clusters in the construction and industrial category totaled 26 cases, two clusters in other occupational settings led to 16 cases and six clusters in travel, lodging and tourism resulted in 72 cases. In the unspecified “other” category, there were four clusters for 92 cases, the DOH reported.

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