Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Hawai‘i’s Sole COVID-19 Patient Remains Isolated at Home

March 7, 2020, 4:30 PM HST
* Updated March 12, 6:43 PM
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The first individual to test positive for COVID-19 in Hawai‘i remains isolated at home with mild to moderate symptoms, state officials reported Saturday.

On Friday, the Hawai‘i Department of Health publicly announced the presumptive positive test results of the O‘ahu man, who was a passenger of the Grand Princess cruise ship in Mexico from Feb. 11-21. After arriving in Mexico, the individual traveled home to Honolulu with no symptoms. While home in Honolulu, the individual became ill on March 1, sought medical care and was tested on March 6.

The department is conducting a detailed trace investigation to identify, notify and provide guidance to all close contacts as quickly as possible.

Officials also continue to monitor another Grand Princess cruise ship, currently moored off the coast of California, that has 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (19 crew members and 2 passengers).

The vessel made port calls to Nawiliwili Harbor, Kaua‘i on Feb. 26, Honolulu Harbor on Feb. 27, Lahaina, Maui on Feb. 28, and Hilo on Feb. 29.

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Additional testing of all passengers and crew is pending. The Department of Health is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control to notify any passengers in Hawai‘i and trace all close contacts.

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Close contact is defined as close personal face-to-face contact for more than 10 minutes. As the investigation continues and more information is gathered, DOH is contacting all passengers and close contacts in Hawai‘i to ensure they are under appropriate isolation or quarantine.

DOH is capable of conducting in-state testing for up to 250 individuals per week for COVID-19. Results can be ready within 24-48 hours of a sample being collected.

“This enhances the state’s prevention and mitigation response capabilities to further safeguard the health of people in Hawai‘i,” officials say.

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It is anticipated that private and clinical labs in California and Hawai‘i may have testing capability as early as next week.

As of now, 15 people were under investigation for the virus. All have tested negative.

There are 76 individuals self-monitoring with public health supervision. Two are on the Big Island, 69 are on O‘ahu, four are on Maui and one is on Kaua‘i.

These numbers fluctuate often as travelers arrive, depart, or begin and end their self-monitoring with supervision by DOH.

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