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Coronavirus cluster at Maui church climbs to 77 cases

                                King’s Cathedral & Chapels’ main sanctuary in Kahului.


    King’s Cathedral & Chapels’ main sanctuary in Kahului.

The coronavirus outbreak at King’s Cathedral & Chapels on Maui has now been linked to 77 cases, according to the Department of Health’s weekly cluster report issued today.

The DOH on March 31 named King’s Cathedral as the source of an “imminent health threat” posed by the cluster, which at the time numbered 55 cases. Church officials downplayed the outbreak, saying the cases were scattered across its two dozen congregations in Maui County and that infections were declining.

Despite DOH recommendations to suspend in-person events and hold virtual services, King’s Cathedral proceeded with Easter Sunday services at its main Kahului sanctuary, with options to attend in- person, on a drive-in basis or online.

The DOH cluster report for the week ending April 8, which lists outbreaks under investigation in the last 14 days, also mentions the COVID-19 cluster that temporary sidelined the University of Hawaii football team. The virus was first detected in two players during routine screening after spring break, according to the report.

COVID-19 also surfaced in an unidentified high school volleyball team that had to halt practice after a player tested positive following exposure to the virus during a spring break social gathering whose other attendees also tested positive. So far no other team members have tested positive but remain in quarantine, the DOH said.

Among the other recent outbreaks in Maui County were four clusters linked to 39 infections in travel, lodging or tourism-related settings; four clusters involving 60 cases in other work settings; and a single 24-case cluster at a food supplier.

On Oahu, three clusters totalling 23 cases were connected to restaurants and two totalling 23 cases were linked to food suppliers. Two separate social gatherings resulted in at least 20 infections, the report said.

The major clusters in Hawaii County involved 32 cases at an educational setting and a dozen cases from a social gathering.

No clusters were under investigation on Kauai.

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