Mostly virus-free Kauai hit by pandemic after travel resumes

HONOLULU (AP) — The small, tight-knit community of about 72,000 people on Hawaii’s rural island of Kauai spent the first seven months of the pandemic mostly sheltered from the viral storm. Then in October, statewide travel restrictions eased and the virus came pouring in. The island had only 61 known cases of coronavirus from March through September but went from zero cases in October to at least 84 new infections in just seven weeks. Health officials traced most cases to returning residents and tourists. Hawaii continues to enjoy relatively low hospitalization and death rates. But Kauai last month had its first COVID-19 death and island officials now want mandatory secondary testing for returning residents and tourists.