133 Molokai COVID Cases in 2 Weeks
By Catherine Cluett Pactol
Molokai, in line with the rest of the state, is in the midst of an unprecedented spike in COVID cases. Molokai has logged 133 cases in the last two weeks, between Dec. 19 and Dec. 31, according to Dept. of Health data current as of Sunday, Dec. 2. The island also recorded a pandemic record high case count in one day on Dec. 26 of 26 cases. Previously, the highest single-day case number was 12 in August.
Hawaii as a state also logged its highest single-day case count of the pandemic on Dec. 28 with 3538 cases, as the Omicron variant sweeps across the country.
On Dec. 19 and 20, Molokai had one case each, five cases on Dec. 22, 10 on Dec. 23, 16 on Dec. 24, two on Dec. 25, 26 on Dec. 26, 11 on Dec. 27, 19 on Dec. 28, 11 on Dec. 29, 13 on Dec. 30 and 16 on Dec. 31. The island is at 389 cases total since the pandemic began.
The Dept. of Health identified a live concert at Paddlers Restaurant on Dec. 18 as a cluster on Molokai. DOH did not report how many cases were identified from the event but a cluster is defined as three or more cases reported within 14 days and identified as having exposed staff or patrons of a facility where attendee lists could not be provided. All who attended the event are advised to get tested for COVID.
Last week, DOH revised the state’s COVID-19 isolation and quarantine policies in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations. The changes are effective Jan. 3. For all those who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, the new policies call for isolation for at least five days, until symptoms are gone, with continued wearing of a mask for five days after isolation. If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and have received a booster shot, or are fully vaccinated within the past six months, there is no need to quarantine but must wear a mask for 10 days and get tested on day five. If you are neither boosted nor fully vaccinated and you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, you must quarantine for five days, wear a mask for five days after quarantine and get tested on day five.
Mayor Michael Victorino revised Maui County’s Public Health Emergency Rules last week that change the definition of “fully vaccinated” to include getting a booster shot. The rule change is effective Jan. 8, making Maui County the first county in the state to make such a change regarding boosters.
“This change affects what the Department of Health considers ‘high risk’ businesses in Maui County, including restaurants, bars and gyms,” Victorino said. “Science says that after the second shot of Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations or the single Johnson and Johnson shot vaccinations weaken after about six months. This rule change recognizes that and requires that businesses ensure that patrons are fully vaccinated or have proof of a negative COVID test within 48 hours. Beginning Jan. 8, that means patrons who seek service indoors need to show proof that they’ve received a booster shot as soon as they are eligible, which means after six months have passed since the last dose or Pfizer or Moderna, or two months after Johnson and Johnson.”
Restaurant patrons can still dine outdoors or get take-out without having a vaccination card.