Updated: September 29, 2022
The Hawai‘i Department of Health is issuing guidance to a Kaua‘i church and its congregation saying there is an “imminent health threat posed by a large cluster of COVID-19 cases.”
The DOH is encouraging congregants of King’s Chapel, Kauaʻi, in Nāwiliwili to participate in virtual services and avoid in-person church activities until the cluster is contained.
The DOH says people who attended events hosted by King’s Chapel Nāwiliwili on or after Oct. 31, especially youth group activities, are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19. “They should closely monitor themselves for symptoms including fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat or loss of taste or smell. If symptoms develop, they are advised to self-quarantine and seek medical consultation,” according to the DOH advisory.
King’s Chapel Nāwiliwili hosted a “Trunk or Treat” event on Oct. 31 for Halloween. “Anyone who attended this event—especially anyone who was un-masked or who interacted for 15 minutes or more with others—should get tested,” the DOH reports.
COVID cases associated with King’s Chapel were identified as a cluster on Nov. 8, with cases dating back at least as far as Oct. 31. DOH has worked with affected individuals, families and with church representatives to recommend containment measures including isolation, quarantine, switching to virtual services and other prevention measures. The cluster has increased from 16 cases when first detected, to 36 COVID-19 cases as of Nov. 12, including four secondary cases in household contacts. More cases are expected to be identified as the investigation and testing continue.
Those infected range from under two years of age to over 60 years of age. This spread indicates transmission beyond the immediate King’s Chapel community.
“DOH discloses cluster locations when there is an imminent risk to public health. Based on the findings of our investigation, we believe disclosure is warranted to prevent further transmission of the disease,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble.