COVID-19 Disease Clusters in Hawaii

The Most Recent Cluster Report

In 2021, Maui County and Hawai’i County investigated two clusters that involved people living in shelter settings. shared living quarters and inadequate physical distancing are high transmission factors. Vaccination, correct and consistent mask usage, cohorting, and testing can prevent transmission in shelters and other congregate settings.

A disease cluster refers to multiple cases of a disease occurring at one time, in one geographic location, or among people with the same or similar shared exposures. Public health officials investigate and study disease clusters because they can provide important information about how diseases are transmitted between individuals and among groups of people; this information can then be used to identify risk factors, inform official recommendations, design interventions, and implement policies to prevent, mitigate, and stop the spread of that disease in communities. This report summarizes COVID-19 clusters that have been identified through statewide case investigation and contact tracing efforts and are actively under investigation within the State of Hawai‘i during the specified reporting week.

The COVID-19 Cluster Report will be published every other week after July 8, 2021.

Two clusters were investigated in 2021 that involved people living in shelter settings where shared living quarters and inadequate physical distancing are high transmission factors.

This report offers suggestions on how people can gather more safely at places of worship to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This week’s cluster report covers mitigation strategies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 this holiday season.

In October 2021, clusters associated with traveling for sports events were investigated. The sports teams did not wear masks or practice social distancing.

A cluster associated with a family vacation at a recreational park in California were investigated. Recommendations are given on how to stay safe while traveling this holiday season.

In August and September 2021, a cluster of 30 COVID-19 cases associated with an elementary school on O’ahu was investigated.

Two clusters on O’ahu were investigated. One was associated with a restaurant and the other was associated with an entertainment venue.

One cluster from a Honolulu County transportation service and one from a Maui County industrial work setting were investigated.

In this week’s report, two clusters that were investigated in August involved one school on Kaua’i and one on Maui.

Two clusters involving restaurant employees was investigated. One cluster was infected by a food supplier. The other cluster was associated with a karaoke bar where masks were not worn and social distancing was not practiced.

Two clusters were investigated in July 2021. One cluster of 23 COVID-19 cases was associated with a wedding reception. Another cluster of 17 cases was associated with a concert that occurred at an O’ahu bar.

COVID-19 clusters related to volleyball tournaments were investigated. Travel and crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces continue to be a concern for sports.

COVID-19 is spreading in the community almost entirely among unvaccinated residents. What can people do to stop COVID-19 from spreading?

Clusters revolving around employee work breaks and social events outside of work were investigated.

Three clusters involving child care and early education providers in home-based settings and a childcare program within a congregate setting were investigated.

A cluster involving Hawaii residents who went to a faith-based retreat was investigated. A cluster on Kauai that potentially exposed ~300 families is under investigation.

From May to June 2021, 224 COVID-19 cases that occurred at a correctional facility were investigated. Vaccination continues to be the best way to prevent contracting and spreading COVID-19.

An outdoor graduation party where physical distancing was not consistently enforced left 8 out of 15 attendees with COVID-19. Two clusters related to places of worship were investigated.

Restaurant workers have an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 when masks are not worn properly and other COVID-19 safety guidelines are not followed.

Two in-person employee training events where masks were not required led to multiple COVID-19 cluster investigations.

A cluster from a construction site on Oahu was investigated. A cluster at a Molokai hospital construction site is currently being investigated.

Singers and performing artists’ occupational settings prove to be high-risk, in regards to contracting and transmitting COVID-19.

A surge of COVID-19 cases on Kaua’i led to an investigation revealing changes in county disease patterns, three large exposure events, and four disease clusters.

The Hawai’i Department of Health collaborated with District Health Offices to provide guidance on the reopening of campuses across the islands.

Summarized are the challenges associated with controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the food service industry.

Topics discussed include the COVID-19 incubation period, quarantine protocols, and testing recommendations of close contacts.

The Hawai’i State Department of Health investigates a COVID-19 cluster impacting a college football team.

Disease cluster investigations were held in congregate settings to facilitate safe services and prevent the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Spillover clusters within the school and hotel industry settings are the topics of discussion, further emphasizing protection protocols.

The Hawai’i State Department of Health initiates a Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Outreach and Investigations Team.

Travel related COVID-19 cases were discovered. The B.1.1.7 variant was found in travelers who recently visited Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Hawai’i State Department of Health analyzes COVID-19 specimens found in the state to identify new variants.

Challenges between the cleaning service industry while still following COVID-19 safety measures pose problems.

The need for effective public health communication in a multitude of languages proves extreme relevance.

The investigation of COVID-19 clusters in the food service industry pose challenges to the global pandemic.

The Hawai’i State Department of Health are investigating two clusters in the state associated with agricultural settings.

Two clusters associated with accommodation settings were investigated.

COVID-19 clusters were found in construction and industrial settings.

Cases of COVID-19 were associated with a Maui residential apartment complex.

Clusters have been identified in correctional and detention facilities.

Included in this week’s cluster report are tips on how to safely celebrate New Year’s.

Clusters were found at churches, temples, and other places of worship.

In these clusters, social gatherings led to increased COVID-19 exposure and transmission.

COVID-19 clusters were found at gyms and other exercise settings.

Clusters have been found at restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.

Clusters have occurred among individuals who spent significant amounts of time together on ships, boats, and other maritime vessels.

A COVID-19 case investigation involved an intermediate school on Oahu required contact
tracing more than one hundred individuals.

A Lanai community cluster and a cluster from apartment complexes on Hawai’i island were identified.