Hawaii Health Department warns of COVID-19, flu outbreaks at high school proms

The Hawaii Department of Health today issued a special edition COVID-19 cluster report regarding an outbreak of both the coronavirus and Type A influenza connected to a high school prom on Oahu.

DOH had ceased issuing the biweekly cluster reports in early January, but will one if special circumstances warrants it.

“With case counts on the rise, the state has noticed an uptick of clusters associated with large school events,” said DOH in the cluster report.

Health officials said in April, the high school contacted DOH for assistance when 37 students who attended the prom reported being sick with common respiratory symptoms.

More than 300 individuals, including students and chaperones, attended the prom. DOH was able to confirm that six tested positive for COVID-19 and four tested positive for influenza A.

One tested positive for both COVID-19 and influenza A.

Of the six that tested positive for COVID, one was unvaccinated, four were vaccinated with the primary series, and one was vaccinated and boosted.

Most of them — 35 of the 37 with symptoms — took either a home COVID-19 test kit or went to a laboratory to get tested. DOH said the number of infections was likely higher than reported due to limited testing.

About 57% of prom attendees had received a primary series of COVID vaccine, according to health officials. Those who went to the prom reported that mask use and social distancing were not practiced nor enforced.

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