School and restaurant with positive coronavirus cases could be linked to growth of Molokai cluster


HONOLULU (KHON2) – At least one school and one restaurant may be linked to a COVID-19 cluster on Molokai.

The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed a cluster of a dozen cases on the island on Thursday, May 13.

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Community members are currently being tested and positive cases are expected to increase in the coming days.

DOH officials said the outbreak was attributed to contractors who worked at Molokai General Hospital (MGH) but had no direct contact with patients.

In a statement, MGH President Janice Kalanihuia said:
“On Tuesday afternoon, MGH was informed that one of the contractors who had been on Molokai on
the previous week tested positive for COVID-19 in Maui. We immediately stopped work and tested the 12 people who were there at the time. Four of them tested positive and all were immediately sent to their accommodation here in Molokai in quarantine.

“The project they were working on was the air conditioning system,” Molokai representative Lynn DeCoite said. “It was isolated at the back, the original entrance. This area has been isolated, cordoned off or disinfected, and it has been treated. “

Representative DeCoite added that a student at Kaunakakai Elementary School who tested positive is linked to the cluster. She explained how the child was infected.

“A local resident worked for the company, he got infected, then he came home and it spread to the family,” said representative Decoite.

The principal of Kaunakakai Elementary School sent a letter on Thursday to inform parents:
“We were informed today by the DOH that one of our students was recently
diagnosed with COVID-19. We are in contact with the family and have sent our aloha to
a speedy recovery. This student was the last on campus on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.
respect for the privacy of this family, we will not share any additional information.
Our school takes the necessary precautions, in particular by notifying all close contacts,
clean and disinfect affected areas, coordinating the following steps with the
Hawaii Department of Education COVID-19 Response Team and Case Sharing
information from Hawaii State Department of Health. “

On Friday, May 14, the Ministry of Education confirmed that there were two students at school with the virus and that they were disinfecting the area.

Maui County Council Member Keani Rawlins-Fernandez said Hiro’s Ohana Grill, located at the Molokai Hotel, was temporarily closed on Wednesday May 12 due to COVID-19.

“Hiro’s Ohana Grill posted on social media that someone on their staff had tested positive and they were closing the restaurant for a deep cleaning,” said Rawlins-Fernandez.

She did not know if this case was cluster related.

Representative Decoite said she expects the number of positive cases to increase, but everyone is doing everything they can to improve the situation.

“I can’t tell you how many people are working on it to isolate it,” said representative DeCoite. “We are here. We hope for the best, we expect the worst. “

Molokai General Hospital offers free testing on Tuesday, May 18, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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