December 29, 2021

Hawaii County is expecting the highest daily case count since the start of the pandemic to be reported
tomorrow. Early estimates from the State Department of Health indicate the potential for more than 220 cases to be reported. The highest case count to date was 206 cases, which was attributed to the onset of the Delta variant.  Although counts continue to rise, hospitalizations are stable islandwide. Currently, 9 COVID patients are hospitalized, with 4 patients in the ICU and 1 on a ventilator. Those numbers are down considerably from the peak of the Delta surge, which had a high of 16 patients in the ICU, 12 on ventilators, and 69 COVID patients hospitalized in a single day. The island is currently 66% fully vaccinated, with 71% of the population initiated.

“We are seeing the positive effects of the vaccines in full effect,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “Although the rise in numbers is certainly nothing to discount, we are comforted by the community’s response thus far and are confident that folks will continue to do the right thing to keep each other safe. Our administration remains ready to pivot if necessary but has no plans of placing any further restrictions on our residents at this time. Throughout the pandemic, we have worked hard to maintain a balanced approach that considers the working class, the kupuna, and the keiki to find equitable solutions for all. We understand that some folks would like to see fewer restrictions, and others would like to see more, but at this time, we believe that we have figured out what works, and we are committed to sticking to that. We know that we won’t make everyone happy. Still, we will continue to operate with the best interest of the County and its residents in mind as we navigate forward using science, data, and aloha as justification of our actions and policies.”

The County would like to applaud further the preventative measures the community has taken on their own accord to protect themselves and their loved ones throughout the pandemic. Testing and vaccination sites remain readily available islandwide and can be found at hawaiicounty.gov/coronavirus. Boosters remain the best defense against serious illness, and residents are encouraged to get theirs today if they haven’t already. 


CDC panel endorses COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all adults


A key outside advisory group to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has endorsed the use of COVID-19 booster shots for all adults, a one-size-fits-all approach designed to simplify eligibility.

If CDC Director Rochelle Walensky signs off on the broader use, as expected, the extra shots will be available immediately to all adults, as long as they are six months past the final dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months after a Johnson & Johnson dose.

The recommendation from the panel comes just hours after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized both Pfizer and Moderna’s booster shots for everyone over the age of 18.


Pfizer applied to the FDA earlier this month for an expansion of the emergency authorization for its booster shot to make it available to anyone 18 or older. Moderna announced just this week that it too had asked the FDA to allow its booster to be given to all adults.

Boosters for everyone has always been the Biden administration’s goal, but until now federal health authorities have stopped short of such a policy, and instead recommended boosters for only specific populations — those over age 65, anyone at high risk because of work or where they live, or those with an underlying medical condition.

The primary COVID-19 vaccination continues to provide good protection against severe disease and death, even as effectiveness against milder infection has waned. But cases have been steadily rising across the country, and authorities have said they want to stave off another winter surge.

The current recommendations, while fairly broad, have caused confusion. While people over the age of 65 are most at risk from waning vaccine immunity, fewer than 40 percent of them have received a booster, according to CDC data.

“The current guidelines, though well-intentioned and thoughtful, generate an obstacle to uptake of boosters. In pursuit of precision, they create confusion,” Nirav Shah, president of Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, told the panel.

The panel did not make a distinction in their recommendation between the two types of mRNA vaccines, despite the potential for increased risk of myocarditis — a type of heart inflammation — in young men after receiving Moderna’s vaccine.

CDC officials told the panel it’s too early to draw conclusions on the risk of myocarditis after the third dose of mRNA vaccines, because teens and younger adults haven’t yet been boosted in large enough numbers.

Several other countries have discouraged use of the Moderna vaccine in people younger than 30 because of that risk.





2020 Executive Board Members: Patrick Toal, Michelle Hiraishi, Jessie Marques (Executive Director), Cristin Gallagher, Momi Lovell

KRHCAI staff and volunteers meet with State Legislators to discuss rural health initiatives and priorities

Picture with Creagan Legislators

Kaʻu Rural Health Community Association, Inc.

Kaʻu Rural Health Community Association, Inc. (KRHCAI) is a community-based membership 501 (c) 3 tax exempt non-profit charitable organization which evolved as a direct result of a community “grassroots” coalition to preserve access to quality healthcare in rural communities. In 1998, the “grassroots” coalition was successful in keeping Kaʻu hospital’s 24-hour emergency room services open. The coalition formally established KRHCAI as a community-based membership organization and received its 501 (c)3 status in November, 1998.

Our purpose is to support and promote community empowerment, capacity building, collaborative partnerships and a healthy community by focusing on Health, Education, Research Opportunities and Economic Sustainability (HEROES).

Kaʻū is the southernmost district of Hawaii County, Hawaii, located on the island of Hawaiʻi.  Kaʻū was one of the six original districts of ancient Hawaii on the island, known as moku.  It includes the areas of South Point (Ka Lae), Hawaiian Ocean View Estates (HOVE), Hawaiian Ocean View Ranchos (HOVR), now together known as Ocean View, Nīnole, Waiʻōhinu, Naʻālehu and Pāhala. — Wikipedia

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