HONOLULU (KHON2) — In October, the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) investigated a cluster of 12 COVID cases and a cluster of six both related to travel and out-of-state sporting competitions.
The first cluster of 12 cases was associated with a youth baseball tournament in Arizona and 19 Hawaii residents attended. Out of the 19, there were 12 who tested positive for the coronavirus — nine minors and three adults. They returned to Hawaii after five team players complained of illness.
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According to the DOH, nine out of the 19 members who attended were fully vaccinated; four of the nine vaccinated tested positive and became breakthrough cases. Eight out of the 12 baseball players were not eligible for vaccination at the time of the tournament because of age requirements.
There were no secondary cases identified in relation to this first cluster, and no hospitalizations were needed. Although the team was encouraged to wear masks and social distance, this was not enforced during practices or games.
The DOH also investigated a second cluster of six COVID cases in relation to a softball tournament in Utah. Five out of 18 team members tested positive, as well as a spouse. Two members flew back to Hawaii while experiencing symptoms.
There were no hospitalizations and no secondary cases identified for this second cluster. All team members and positive individuals were fully vaccinated, the DOH reported. During the tournament, masks were not required or worn; social distancing was not enforced on the field or in dugouts.
In the cluster report, the DOH added that primary risk factors for transmission of the virus were lack of social distancing and not wearing masks. Other contributing factors may include sharing equipment, as well as traveling in vehicles with closed windows and reduced ventilation.
Officials also found that both groups had individuals who traveled back to Hawaii while symptomatic.
To view the DOH’S full cluster report, click here.
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Officials recommend those who travel should get tested after returning to Hawaii and that there should be plans in place — like postponing traveling — in case individuals develop symptoms or test positive during their trip.