On Monday, the DOH said 199 inmates and 18 staff members had tested positive for COVID-19, and that there were seven other secondary cases among family contacts of staff. Two staff members were hospitalized.
Currently, 212 detainees remain in isolation or quarantine. No cluster deaths were reported.
Health officials said inmate and staff vaccination rates were lower than state vaccination rates when the first case of COVID-19 was identified at Hilo Prison. Although the state prioritized Hawaii inmates when it began rolling out its vaccine, public safety officials said many refused to get them.
“The Department of Health has worked directly with the correctional facility to provide mitigation recommendations, including cohort, routine testing, and best practices for infection prevention and control in correctional facilities,” said officials said in the cluster report. “Recommended infection prevention and control measures include vaccination of inmates and staff, access and consistent use of personal protective equipment by staff and masks by inmates, as well as COVID- testing. 19 and quarantine for all detainees upon admission. “
Officials said vaccination is the main strategy to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in correctional facilities and that it has organized on-site clinics for inmates and staff. At a clinic in June, 20 inmates were vaccinated.
The ministry is also working with the Ministry of Public Safety to offer routine testing with rapid COVID tests to identify cases earlier.
A total of 11 clusters, meanwhile, are under investigation across various categories across the four counties, including Kauai County, which often has none.
The report, released Thursday, reflects the clusters under investigation over the past two weeks:
>> In Oahu, authorities are investigating two restaurant clusters with 24 cases, one cluster in the construction and industry category with nine cases and one cluster in the travel, accommodation and tourism category resulting in 12 cases.
>> In Maui County, authorities are investigating two groups at educational institutions that resulted in 16 cases, one group at a shelter with nine cases and one group at a restaurant which resulted in six cases. Additionally, officials are investigating a group of a social rally that has resulted in 26 cases.
>> On the island of Hawaii, authorities say the cluster in a correctional facility now totals 224 cases.
>> In Kauai County, authorities are investigating a group at a place of worship that has made 10 cases.