comscore 26 COVID-19 cases reported at Hawaii DOE schools statewide last week | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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26 COVID-19 cases reported at Hawaii DOE schools statewide last week

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The Department of Education reported 26 cases of COVID-19 associated with public schools were confirmed over the past week, up from 20 the previous week.

The tally for Aug. 29 through Friday includes 16 employees, eight students, one contracted service provider and one visitor. On Oahu, the cases were scattered through all but one complex area, Castle-Kahuku. A complex area is made up of a couple of high schools and their feeder lower schools.

No cases were reported at DOE schools on Maui or Kauai. Three were confirmed on Hawaii island, including an employee, a service provider and a visitor, all in different complex areas.

Altogether, 75 confirmed cases have been reported by the Department of Education since June 26 connected to public schools.

In Friday’s announcement, the department explained that COVID-19 cases are reported several ways. Schools immediately notify individuals who may have come into close contact with the infected person. They also promptly notify staff and their school community about possible exposure and what they are doing to contain the spread. Meanwhile, the Board of Education receives a daily report of confirmed cases and a public tally is posted weekly by complex area.

Figures reported by DOE do not include public charter schools, which are overseen by the state Charter School Commission rather than the Board of Education.

Charter schools have been notifying their school communities directly about cases.

Recent instances include Kamaile Academy, a charter in Waianae, which reported Aug. 24 that three students had tested positive. The children had been on campus during the week of Aug. 17 for technology pickup and orientation meetings.

Kualapuu School on Molokai has had no confirmed cases among its staff or students but did learn Aug. 29 that a student had been exposed to a COVID-19 case at home. Kualapuu switched to distance learning until Sept. 11.

There are 256 Department of Education schools and 37 charter schools in Hawaii.

Teachers at Department of Education schools returned to work on July 29. The first day for students was Aug. 17. Many came to campus on that day for orientations or to pick up materials. The department officially began distance learning on Aug. 24, but some students with special needs or needing internet access still come to campus.

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