Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Hawai‘i Department of Health supports CDC updates to COVID-19 guidance

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The Hawai‘i Department of Health is in general agreement with today’s updated COVID-19 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

DOH continuously reviews data on respiratory pathogens, including the virus that causes COVID-19.

When people get sick with a respiratory virus, the updated guidance recommends that they stay home and away from others. For people with COVID-19 and influenza, treatment is available and can lessen symptoms and lower the risk of severe illness. The recommendations suggest returning to normal activities when, for at least 24 hours, symptoms are improving overall, and if a fever was present, it has been gone without use of a fever-reducing medication.

Once people resume normal activities, they are encouraged to take additional prevention strategies for the next 5 days to curb disease spread, such as taking more steps for cleaner air, enhancing hygiene practices, wearing a well-fitting mask, keeping a distance from others, and/or getting tested for respiratory viruses.


CDC’s updated guidance reflects how the circumstances around COVID-19 in particular have changed. While it remains a threat, today it is far less likely to cause severe illness because of widespread immunity and improved tools to prevent and treat the disease. Importantly, states and countries that have already adjusted recommended isolation times have not seen increased hospitalizations or deaths related to COVID-19.

The trend in Hawai‘i is similar to that nationally, in which significant declines in COVID-19 hospitalizations and mortality have been associated with the high degree of population immunity, availability of vaccinations, and access to treatment. As the threat from COVID-19 more closely resembles other common respiratory viruses, CDC is issuing Respiratory Virus Guidance, rather than additional virus-specific guidance.

The new pan-respiratory guidance makes it easier for people to take actions to prevent disease spread, even if they are unable to identify the specific respiratory disease.


DOH will be reviewing CDCʻs guidance over the coming week as the department prepares updates to state-level guidance to align with these changes.

To read more about the CDC’s changes, visit Protect yourself from COVID-19, Flu, and RSV.

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