Poor classroom ventilation likely contributed to cluster of COVID cases in Hawaii school, health officials say

The state Department of Health is urging vigilance after a COVID cluster that led to a total of 30 infections was linked to an elementary school on Oahu.
Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 11:46 AM AKDT
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow/Gray News) – The Department of Health says poor classroom ventilation likely contributed to a cluster of 30 COVID-19 cases at a school in Hawaii.

According to Hawaii News Now, several mitigation strategies were enforced at the school – including mask wearing, social distancing and on-campus screening and testing.

Health officials, however, said ventilation in the classroom could have been improved.

Officials said teachers had closed windows and doors to limit outdoor noise levels and to maintain the central air conditioning.

The DOH has provided the school with options and guidance to improve ventilation and airflow in the classroom as well as other methods to prevent the spread of COVID between students.

In its latest cluster report, DOH said seven people in a classroom of 30 students and staff tested positive for the virus in August and September.

Officials said another person who had COVID symptoms was also linked to the cluster.

The Health Department said the virus then spread to 22 secondary cases among household members. There were a total of six breakthrough cases — one staff member and five secondary cases.

Officials said one household member, who was unvaccinated, was hospitalized.

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