The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has moved Kauai County from the yellow, medium-risk community level to the red, high-risk community level.
Under CDC guidelines, those living in counties with high-risk community levels should wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status.
People should stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms.
Those who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease should also consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where they could be exposed.
Honolulu County, Maui County, and Hawaii County remain at yellow, where they have been since late April after being in the green, low-risk category for weeks.
The metrics used to determine community levels are based on new COVID-19 admissions at hospitals, percent of hospital beds occupied by COVID patients, and coronavirus case rates per 100,000 people.
On Wednesday, the Hawaii Department of Health reported the 7-day average of new cases on Kauai was at 48, and the average positivity rate was 20.3%, higher than any other county.
Health Department Director Dr. Libby Char said on “Spotlight Hawaii” this morning she believed coronavirus case counts were likely five to six times higher than reported due to unreported results from home COVID test kits.
“The numbers are trending up right now,” she said. “We know we have an awful lot of COVID in our community, so just assume there’s a lot of COVID out there and it’s all around us. That being said we’re not seeing the same degree of people ending up really sick in the hospital and I think that’s because we’ve had progress in being able to treat it and also in people being vaccinated and boosted.”