The Hawaii Department of Education reported 14 new school-based coronavirus cases in the past week, bringing the total school-based number of cases to 29 as of August 21.

The new cases involve nine employees, four students and one parent on Oahu. No cases on the neighbor islands were reported.

The DOE has begun providing weekly updates of new cases by school complex area, rather than naming individual schools or even general neighborhoods, to preserve student and staff privacy.

Kauluwela Elementary School studentsand parents arrive on first day of in person instruction during a COVID-19 pandemic. August 17, 2020
Some DOE schools brought small groups of students back to campus for in-person orientation. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

Friday’s update offered somewhat more detail than the previous week by including whether the case was associated with a student, parent or employee. The chart does not indicate whether this week’s cases are connected at all to the prior week’s.

In the past week, the Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani complex saw two employee cases and three student cases, two of whom were from the same household.

Aiea-Moanalua-Radford and Campbell-Kapolei each saw two employee cases, while Nanakuli-Waianae and Kailua-Kalaheo each saw one employee case.

Pearl City-Waipahu saw one employee case plus two cases from the same household: a parent and student.

Staff at these campuses plus parents in all but one of the cases were notified, according to DOE. The one case that lacked parental notification was because students had not yet returned to campus, DOE said.

The department has come under criticism for the plodding pace and vague disclosure of coronavirus cases on school campuses as cases soar in the islands and some students and teachers have returned to classrooms this week.

“To date, in all HIDOE cases, an infected individual came onto campus; the transmission did not occur on campus,” DOE said in its Friday update.

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