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Four Kona Parks to Temporarily Close for Preventative Treatment

January 28, 2016, 10:22 AM HST
* Updated January 28, 3:35 PM
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Kamakana Playground in Harold H. Higashihara Park. Early Childhood Education Zone file photo.

Kamakana Playground in Harold H. Higashihara Park. Early Childhood Education Zone file photo.

On Wednesday, the Hawai’i Department of Health listed two areas on the Big Island as “high risk” for potential dengue infection.

Both of those areas were located in West Hawai’i and included Captain Cook and Kailua-Kona. The latter of the two, as of last week, was listed as “moderate risk.”

In addition to a community meeting slated in Kona on Thursday, Feb. 4, the Department of Parks and Recreations plans to temporarily close four Kona parks on Friday.

P&R officials say those facilities will close to treat mosquitoes that have the potential to spread dengue fever. The parks are not definitive locations of possible infection, but instead, the measure is being conducted as a proactive and preventative strategy for reducing mosquito concentrations to lower the risk of potential exposure.

Kailua Playground also known as “The Ghetto,” Kipapa Park, located on the mauka side of Ali’i Drive across from La’aloa Bay Beach Park, Harold H. Higashihara Park, and Arthur C. Greenwell Park, including Sergeant Rodney J. Yano Memorial Hall will close for the day beginning at about 7 a.m., weather permitting.

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Signs will be posted at each park informing the public of the closures, spraying activity, and details on each park’s reopening. The public will not be allowed into the parks until the treatment work is completed and the parks are cleared for public use.

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As of Wednesday afternoon, four new dengue fever cases had been confirmed. The total number of cases now sits at 241. Of the 241 total cases, five remain listed as “potentially infectious.”

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