PTSD and COVID-19: A Silent Sickness

Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

Community Contributed

Opinion by Aaron Mitchell, MS, MHC

While the world may be saying, “We’re back to life as normal,” many of us are saying to ourselves, “Um, this doesn’t feel right.”  We remember when things were “normal” and then COVID-19 hit.  We remember what happened and we remember what we went through.  We have a new level of caution.  An uncle here on Molokai has expressed his concern about the traumatic impacts of COVID on this community.  

Whenever we go through something big and it creates a lot of change in our life, there is the potential for trauma.  In the case of COVID-19, that change was world-wide. …

COVID Cases Stay Steady, CDC Guidelines Updated

Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

COVID Cases Stay Steady, CDC Guidelines Updated

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Last week there were six new COVID cases reported on Molokai between Aug. 3 and Aug. 10, according to the Dept. of Health as of Aug. 15. New cases have leveled off over the past month, ranging between about six and 15 per week reported. This number represents those cases officially reported and does not include results obtained through home tests. 

Statewide, there has been a slow decline in cases reported over the past couple of months, after a spike in cases at the end of May. 

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidelines for COVID-19 to “help people better understand their risk, how to protect themselves and others, what actions to take if exposed to COVID-19, and what actions to take if they are sick or test positive for the virus.”…

DOH Says School Masking Now Optional

Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

State Dept. of Health officials announced last week that masks will not be mandatory in indoor settings at public schools this year. COVID-19 vaccines will also not be required for students. 

At a news conference last Tuesday, State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble said wearing masks will be up to individual teachers and students, but the DOH “will strongly encourage indoor mask use when COVID levels are high or medium.”

According to CDC criteria, COVID-19 community level for Maui County is currently listed as high, as of July 14. The CDC uses a combination of three metrics such as new COVID cases in the past seven days, and hospital beds occupied by COVID patients, to determine a community’s level as low, medium or high. …

COVID on Molokai

Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

COVID on Molokai

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Last week Molokai had eight new COVID cases officially reported between June 29 and July 6. The previous week, between June 22 and June 29, there were 10 positive cases, according to the Dept. of Health. There have been 1,150 cases on Molokai reported since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Because of home COVID tests which are not reported to the DOH, officials recommend multiplying the reported number of cases by as many as six or seven for a more accurate count of actual cases. 

Statewide last week, there were 4,381 cases reported, with a daily average of 651.…

COVID Slowly on the Decline

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

COVID Slowly on the Decline

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

COVID trends are back on the decline statewide after sharp increases in May and early June. 

Daily average cases statewide are hovering at just below 1000, with an 18.9 percent positivity rate over the last week as of last Wednesday. That’s down from a daily average of more than 1200 at the end of May. 

On Molokai, the week between Wednesday, June 8 and Wednesday, June 15 brought 10 new cases, with 23 positive cases the previous week. Officials suggest multiplying the number of officially reported cases by a factor of five or six to account for home tests, which are not reported to the Dept.…

Tracking COVID Trends

Thursday, June 2nd, 2022

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Molokai logged 18 new COVID cases in the week between May 18 and May 25, according to the Dept. of Health. That’s down from 26 the previous week, and 40 the week before that, May 4-11. However, officials suggest that the tally is likely five to seven times what’s officially reported, due to the influx of home COVID tests, which go unreported. By that calculation, last week’s Molokai cases probably range between 90 and 126 new cases. 

Between May 17 and May 26, Molokai Middle School reported eight new COVID cases and Molokai High School had two, according to the DOE weekly COVID report.…

COVID Cases on the Rise

Thursday, May 19th, 2022

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Molokai logged 40 new COVID-19 cases in the week between Wednesday, May 4 and Wednesday, May 11, bringing the island total to 1,017 since the pandemic began. However, that number may be significantly lower than the actual number of recent positive cases because of the increased accessibility to home tests, the results of which aren’t reported to the state, according to health officials. 

Dr. Libby Char, Hawaii Dept. of Health director, said with the rise in prevalence of home COVID tests, it’s likely that more people are taking tests at home than at testing facilities.…

COVID Surge Causes School Cancellations

Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

COVID Surge Causes School Cancellations

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

A recent surge in COVID cases on Molokai has caused a disruption to some school classes and sports competitions. The Dept. of Health now only provides reporting on COVID case counts weekly on Wednesdays, with nine new cases reported for Molokai between Wednesday, April 17 and Wednesday, May 4, community reports suggest last week’s case numbers on Molokai were much higher. DOH officials did not respond to requests for updated Molokai counts. 

Last Sunday night, Molokai Middle School announced school closure this week, with cancellation of classes on Monday, May 10, followed by distance learning the rest of the week due to “the high number of cases among staff and students.”…

COVID Still Circulating

Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

COVID Still Circulating

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

After a couple of months with few COVID cases, the Department of Health reported five new COVID cases on Molokai in the week between Wednesday, April 6 and Wednesday, April 13.  There have been 955 cases on Molokai since the pandemic began. Case statistics are now only available on a weekly basis from the DOH. Statewide, there were 1327 new cases during the same period. 

Masks are no longer required indoors by state mandate, though most stores on Molokai continue to recommend them. It is the decision of private businesses whether or not to continue a policy of asking customers to wear masks on premises.…

Indoor Mask Mandate Ending

Friday, March 18th, 2022

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Hawaii becomes the last state in the U.S. to lift its indoor mask mandate on March 25. Gov. David Ige announced the statewide mask requirement for inside settings will end this month. It will be the first time masks won’t be required indoors since April 2020. 

“Together, we have reduced COVID-19 in Hawaii to the point where most of us will be safe without masks indoors,” said Ige last week. “Right now, hospitalizations are trending down. Case counts are falling. We are better at treating people who are infected. Booster shots are saving lives. And the CDC has rated the state’s COVID-19 community level as ‘low.’…