Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus Prompts Emergency Proclamation From State

March 4, 2020, 4:22 PM HST
* Updated March 12, 6:29 PM
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Gov. David Ige. Courtesy photo.

Gov. David Ige Wednesday issued an emergency proclamation to facilitate a fast, efficient response to the threat posed by the coronavirus and to provide disaster relief, should that prove necessary.

Emergency proclamations allow for the rapid reallocation of resources without hopping through bureaucratic hoops, which typically act as safeguards but in cases like these prevent nimble reaction to threatening circumstances.

There are no reported cases of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi, according to the state Deaprtment of Health. The governor is taking this action to be prepared for any possible cases or outbreaks in the state, a release from Ige’s office said.

Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim issued an emergency proclamation for the same purpose last Friday.  The mayors of Maui, Kauaʻi and the City and County of Honolulu also issued proclamations Wednesday in response to recent events revolving around the spread of COVID-19, the release said.

The state’s emergency proclamation authorizes the expenditure of state funds as appropriated for the purchase of supplies and equipment, and the speedy and efficient response to conditions that may be created by COVID-19.

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The proclamation also gives the state funding flexibility and allows the governor to suspend any laws that may impede the efficient execution of emergency functions.

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“Our number one priority is the health and safety of our communities across the state,” Ige said. “COVID-19 has prompted the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency of international concern. This emergency proclamation will give us the ability to move more quickly and efficiently in our efforts to protect our communities from the virus and provide emergency relief if, and when, it is necessary.”

The disaster emergency relief period begins immediately and continues through April 29, 2020.

Ige and DOH Director Bruce Anderson also held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss the current status of Coronavirus across the state.

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The DOH, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has issued a statement that the cruise ship Grand Princess, which was docked in Hilo Feb. 29, did not pose a health risk to Hawai‘i.

A crew member from the ship fell ill before it arrived in Hawai‘i was taken to the Hilo Medical Center for treatment. That person tested negative for Coronavirus, according to Ige and Anderson.

The CDC, along with the United States Coast Guard, Department of Health and Hawai‘i County Civil Defense, will continue to monitor the situation with the Grand Princess, which is heading to San Francisco, a report from the county said.

COVID-19 Summary of Numbers as of March 4, 2020
(updated as new information becomes available)

Number of Confirmed Case(s)    0
Number of Persons Under Investigation (current, testing pending)    0
Number of Persons Under Investigation (closed, testing negative)   6
Number of Persons Under Quarantine   0
Number of Persons Self-Monitoring with DOH supervision 72

72 individuals who are self-monitoring with public health supervision, 65 are on O‘ahu, 2 are on Hawai‘i Island, 3 are on Maui, and 2 are on Kaua‘i. 

Confirmed: Meets CDC criteria and positive test result received from a certified laboratory.

Person Under Investigation (PUI): Meets CDC criteria for investigation and testing pending.

Quarantine: Individuals are required to remain in a designated location and separated from others. They are actively monitored by the Department of Health staff. Quarantine is enforceable by law.

Monitoring: Individuals voluntarily remain at home and refrain from work, school, gathering places, and public transit. They communicate daily with the Department of Health staff.

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