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Maui classification moves to high-level of COVID-19 Community Level transmission

The COVID-19 community transmission level in Maui County increased to “high” on mapping tools provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All counties in the state are now in the “high” category, with the exception of Hawaiʻi Island, which is at the medium community level.

The tool was launched by the CDC earlier this year, and is designed to help communities decide on what prevention steps to take based on the latest data.

The CDC recommends that communities in the high level:

  • Wear masks indoors in public, and on public transportation.
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms.
  • If you are at high risk for severe illness, consider taking additional precautions.

In Maui County, weekly metrics released by the CDC on Thursday, show the case rate is 471.88 per 100,000 population, new COVID-19 admissions are at 12.4%, and staffed inpatient beds in use by COVID-positive individuals is at 194%.

Statewide, there are 7,149 new infections across Hawaiʻi over the course of a week, including 746 cases on Maui, 26 on Molokaʻi, 18 on Lānaʻi, 460 on Kauaʻi, 4,922 on Oʻahu, and 850 on Hawaiʻi Island. There were also 12 additional deaths statewide in the latest weekly report.

The latest data represents an eighth consecutive week of increases in new infections.

In Maui County, the seven day average for new daily cases is 60.6 per 100k; or 101 average over the last seven days. The countyʻs test positivity rate is 16.2%, and the statewide positivity rate is now 16.9%.

Statewide, with data through May 18, there are 126 people hospitalized with COVID-19, (down from a peak of 448 on Sept. 4), according to an update from the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency. HIEMA statistics show five COVID-19 patient in the ICU statewide, and three COVID-19 patients on a ventilator. 

As of 9 a.m. on May 18, 2022, the latest data available, there were 11 individuals hospitalized in Maui County with COVID-19, below both the 41 reported during the height of the delta surge in August 2021, and the previous omicron high of 56 reported on Jan. 28, 2022. Of those hospitalized on Maui one individual (unvaccinated) is in the ICU and no patients are on a ventilator.

Children 5-11 now eligible for COVID-19 boosters

This comes as the Hawai‘i Department of Health announced the adoption of new guidance from the CDC recommending boosters for children ages 5 through 11 and strengthening booster recommendations for others.

The DOH advises that children ages 5 through 11 are encouraged to receive a COVID-19 booster shot five months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination.

Kaiser Permanente reports that appointments on kp.org will become bookable this evening, Friday, May 20, 2022, for keiki in this age demographic.  Kaiser reports that boosters for keiki on Maui start on Monday.

CDC urges individuals 50+ to get 2nd booster

The CDC on Thursday strengthened its second booster recommendation for people 50 and older and those 12 and older who are immunocompromised. People in those populations have been eligible for a second booster dose, but the CDC now says they should receive a second booster dose at least four months after their first booster, according to a DOH announcement.

The Maui Health vaccine clinic at Maui Memorial Medical Center is open on Fridays, but will be closed next Friday, May 27, 2022, due to the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Vaccines and boosters are also available at various pharmacies including Safeway and CVS pharmacies on Maui.

More COVID-19 vaccination and testing options are available at mauinuistrong.info or  hawaiicovid19.com. 

Indoor masking at Hawaiʻi public schools remains through summer

State officials announced last week that indoor masking rules will remain in place for summer programs at public schools. 

Universal indoor mask mandates were lifted for the majority of the state March 26.

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2022/05/20/maui-classification-moves-to-high-level-of-covid-19-community-level-transmission/

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