Cluster of COVID-19 cases under investigation on Big Island

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald University of Hawaii at Hilo pharmacy student Minneh Oyas gives a COVID-19 vaccine to a caregiver during drive-through vaccinations Thursday at Hawaii Island Adult Care.

Eighteen COVID-19 cases are associated with a single cluster under investigation on the Big Island, according to a weekly cluster report released Thursday by the state Department of Health.

The cluster, investigated within the past 14 days, was found at a “food supplier,” which could mean a grocery store or other food distributors, manufacturers, warehouses, processors, farms or food pantries.

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The DOH didn’t specify exactly where the cluster was located, or the type of food supplier.

The DOH on Thursday also reported 107 new cases of COVID-19 in Hawaii, including seven new cases on the Big Island.

Hawaii County has a 1.1% test positivity rate, compared to the statewide positivity rate of 1.9%.

Fewer than 10 cases have been reported in Hilo in the past 14 days, while 28 cases have been reported in North Kona during the same period, according to the DOH.

The DOH on Thursday also reported the COVID-related deaths of two Oahu men, both between 70 and 79, who had underlying health conditions and were hospitalized.

As of Thursday, 181,704 vaccine doses had been administered across the state, up 9,999 from Wednesday.

According to the DOH, 267,800 doses had been allocated to the state as of Wednesday, of which 227,600 have been received.

More than 15,000 doses of vaccine have been administered on the Big Island.

Hawaii Island Adult Care on Thursday offered drive-through COVID-19 vaccinations.

KTA Super Stores pharmacists worked with the center to administer about 94 vaccinations to caregivers for past or current HIAC clients or those working in care facilities.

Ron Shinno helps take care of his mother-in-law and decided to get his first dose of the vaccine to keep her safe.

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“I’m going to feel a lot better being around her after the vaccine,” Shinno said. “I’ve been scared that I’m going to give her the virus, so this will really help.”

Email Stephanie Salmons at ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.com. Email Kelsey Walling at kwalling@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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