The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) is issuing guidance to a Maui church and its congregation because of the imminent health threat posed by a large cluster of COVID-19 cases.
King’s Cathedral in Kahului is encouraged to cancel all upcoming in-person events and conduct only virtual services until the cluster is contained.
People who attended events hosted by King’s Cathedral and Chapels in the past 14 days 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.
COVID cases associated with King’s Cathedral were identified as a cluster on March 7. DOH first met with church representatives to recommend containment measures including isolation, quarantine, and advising a switch to virtual services and other prevention measures on March 10. However, further transmission was subsequently detected related to ongoing in-person services, a youth conference, and other gatherings. The cluster has doubled in the past ten-days and now totals 50 COVID-19 cases.
Those infected range in age from 10 to 77. COVID-19 transmission has spread from the church to a school and a workplace. DOH is concerned more “spillover” cases will threaten the greater community and not just those affiliated with King’s Cathedral.
“DOH does not disclose specific cluster locations unless there is an imminent risk to public health,” said Acting State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble. “Based on the findings of our investigative team, we believe disclosure is warranted to prevent further transmission of the disease.”
Statewide case counts and case counts on Maui have risen in the past week. It is critically important people wear masks, maintain physical distance, avoid crowds, and wash hands regularly. Anyone who feels sick or believes they are coming down with a cold should not go to work or school.
Anyone who feels ill, believes they may have been exposed or has attended a King’s Cathedral and Chapel function in the past two weeks can schedule a COVID-19 test by registering at the following link.