Big Island Coronavirus Updates

11 New COVID Cases Identified at University of Nations

By Tiffany DeMasters
April 6, 2021, 2:00 PM HST
* Updated April 6, 1:52 PM
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Eleven new COVID-19 cases were identified on the University of the Nations Kona campus. As of today, April 6, there are a total of 30 students and one staff member confirmed to have the virus. No one has been hospitalized.

The newly identified cases were already in quarantine, UofN spokesperson Johnny Gillespie told Big Island Now. As the school continues to work with the Department of Health, Gillespie added, officials believe they have a handle on the outbreak.

The school initially reported the cases to the public on April 2 where 20 COVID cases identified during a routine screening. This is the second cluster reported on the UofN Kona campus with the first occurring in October of 2020.

Gillespie said they don’t know how the virus was reintroduced to the student body as all students have been at the school since January.

More than 400 staff and faculty have been inoculated against COVID. Gillespie said the staff member who was diagnosed in this recent cluster had not been vaccinated.

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News of the April cluster pushed meetings and classes online. Gillespie is hopeful they can resume in-person instruction and normal operations, with the current safety precautions, as the outbreak is believed to be contained.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.
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