ACTION NEEDED AS COVID CASES CONTINUE TO SURGE IN HAWAIʻI & NATIVE HAWAIIAN COMMUNITY
News Release from OHA, August 18, 2021
As the statewide surge in COVID-19 cases continues, the Native Hawaiian community continues to see infection numbers rise (see chart below.) During most of this pandemic, the infection rate in the Native Hawaiian community was below the curve. That has changed with the more aggressive Delta variant. However, this does not mean we cannot change that trajectory. We have effectively slowed the spread in our communities before and we can break the chain of transmission again.
It is Our Kuleana
We have the tools to fight this together and if we take some steps immediately we can protect our ʻohana and re-stabilize our healthcare systems that are exceeding capacity.
The surge is not limited to the Native Hawaiian community, but we can act to protect our vulnerable ʻohana and friends.
What has worked before?
- Physical Distancing
- Wearing a Mask in all Public Spaces
- Avoiding Gatherings
- No Non-Essential Travel
- Washing Hands Frequently
- Limiting Trips to the Store
- Aloha Kekahi i Kekahi and Take Care of Each Other
These are the tools we used to combat the first waves of COVID-19 very effectively. Remember that the Delta variant is transmitted much more rapidly and that requires us to respond swiftly.
What is working now?
Everything listed above AND Vaccines
90-95% of individuals experiencing severe symptoms and requiring hospitalization in recent weeks are not vaccinated. This means that the vaccines ARE effective in preventing severe illness.
If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccinations, please talk to your physician for reliable information about getting vaccinated or visit https://hawaiicovid19.com/vaccine-faqs/.
We must take action to protect vulnerable ʻohana and not overwhelm healthcare facilities so they can effectively treat all patients and save lives, whether the treatment is for COVID-19 or any other ailment or emergency. It is our collective kuleana to help stabilize our healthcare systems.
Please develop a plan using the tools that we know have worked to protect your ʻohana thus far and remain vigilant in executing that plan. We all have difficult decisions to make, but if we stay vigilant, work together, and recognize our collective kuleana to our families and our communities, we will lead the way in turning the table on this surge.
Parents: if you have school-aged keiki, please strongly consider vaccination for all adults in your household and extended ʻohana that are in contact with or help care for your keiki. This will help protect everyone in your family from potential serious illness and loss of work/income.
Fearless and unwavering ALOHA for one another will enable us to get through these very uncertain times.
E mālama pono i ke ola kino a mauli ola kaiāulu.