Maui Coronavirus Updates

Maui COVID-19 Clusters are Down in Latest Weekly Report

By Wendy Osher
May 13, 2021, 6:46 PM HST
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The state Department of Health released its updated weekly cluster report today, detailing information on COVID-19 cases in certain settings. The department also discussed recent clusters that involve singers on Oʻahu and performing artists.

While construction was not identified in this week’s report, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino on Wednesday confirmed that there is a a cluster at a construction company that contributed to today’s double-digit count of new cases in Maui County.

“Unfortunately it was just one individual who then spread it to other family members and other workers from that particular construction company. We are working very diligently with the Department of Health to do what we can and to do the contact tracing that’s necessary,” the mayor said during a press briefing. “(It’s) nothing serious at this time; however, ladies and gentlemen, we are not out of the woods. So let’s continue wearing our masks, continue good hygiene and keep physical distancing.”

The cluster report, which covers the period through May 11, 2021, identified nine active clusters in Maui County, including four in the travel/lodging/tourism sector, two in restaurants, and one each in an educational setting, social gathering, and football tournament.

The cluster report indicates that there are 98 cases identified in the travel/lodging/tourism sector, including 76 associated with the primary setting and 22 that are outside of the primary setting. These 98 cases are from four different clusters.  This represents a 21 percent decrease in cases (down 26) from last week’s cluster report when 124 cases were identified in this sector.

The report does not show how many of the infected individuals have recovered. While general categories have been identified, health officials have said that they don’t typically identify specific locations of clusters unless there is an “imminent health threat.”

In April 2021, the Hawai’i State Department of Health investigated a cluster of 25 COVID-19 cases associated with a performing arts center on Oʻahu. The DOH reports that during their infectious periods, three adults who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 interacted with performing arts students.

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One adult was a vocal instructor who taught lessons at the performing arts center and at home. Seven out of nine vocal students (78 percent) tested positive for COVID-19. Nineteen confirmed cases were associated with the vocal instructor, due to inconsistent mask-use by the instructor and no mask-use by the students. The DOH reports that all contacts who were fully vaccinated tested negative for COVID-19.

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In a separate incident, the DOH investigated a lūʻau production company on Maui after two dancers tested positive for COVID-19 in March of 2021. “Transmission of the virus was due to dancers doing their makeup unmasked, changing costumes, and spending over 15 minutes in the dressing areas,” according to the DOH report. “Recommendations were made by the DOH to produce more airflow in the dressing areas and decrease time spent unmasked. After these recommendations were enforced, no additional cases were reported.”

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.
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