Big Island Coronavirus Updates

State Confirms First Case of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i

March 6, 2020, 5:05 PM HST
* Updated March 12, 6:19 PM
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Authorities confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i this afternoon.

Gov. David Ige said the resident traveled on the cruise ship the Grand Princess in February (Feb. 11-21), disembarked in Mexico and flew back to the islands. The individual fell ill once back on O‘ahu.

The person contacted their health care provider, was tested and confirmed to have the coronavirus.

“This is not a case of spread in the community, we want to emphasize that,” Ige said. “We believe they became infected on the trip itself.”

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The individual is quarantined at his residence and is doing fine. Officials believe he didn’t have close contact with anyone, however they are working to verify that.

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“Don’t believe there is community spread at this time,” Ige said.

Additionally, the Grand Princess made port call at all the major islands during the last week of February. The ship was in Hilo on Feb. 29. US Vice President Mike Pence announced 21 of those passengers tested positive for COVID-19 — 19 crew and two passengers.

The cruise ship was also in Kaua‘i on Feb. 26, O‘ahu on Feb. 27 and Maui on Feb. 28.

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The vessel is now moored offshore near San Francisco. The Centers for Disease Control intends to test all passengers and crew before allowing them to disembark.

Hawai‘i Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson said at least four of the passengers are Hawaii residents.

Anderson said they will be contacting everyone who disembarked the vessel and ask them to self-quarantine and we’ll be following up with them to get a detailed history of what they did while they were here.

“We don’t believe there is community spread of the virus at this time,” Ige said.

Anderson said the state plans to do sentinel testing on individuals who have respiratory illness to see if there might be unrecognized COVID-19 in the community.

There is currently no evidence that the virus is in the Hawai‘i Islands. Anderson said the first case was clearly exposed while on the cruise ship.

the state has had capability to test for the virus since last week. Eight tests have been done, but the state has the capacity to conduct 250 per week.

“We want to bring you up to date on the situation and when we have more information we’ll share that with you,” Anderson said.

 

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