First presumptive positive case on Oahu
The Department of Health today announced the first positive test results for a person under investigation on Oahu. The individual was a passenger on the Grand Princess cruise in Mexico and became ill after flying home to Oahu. Patient is currently isolated at home with mild to moderate symptoms. At this time, no close contacts with the patient have been identified.
Grand Princess cruise ship
Vice President Pence announced today that there were 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Grand Princess cruise ship that made port calls to Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai on Feb. 26, Honolulu Harbor on Feb. 27, Lahaina, Maui on Feb. 28, and Hilo on Feb. 29. The Department of Health is working with the CDC to notify any passengers in Hawaii and trace any close contacts.
In anticipation of possible cases, DOH had already received manifests from the ship through CDC prior to today’s confirmation. Close contact is defined as close personal face-to-face contact for more than 10 minutes. DOH will investigate who is still here, who is sick and help them get care or ensure they are under appropriate isolation or quarantine.
State Laboratories Division testing
The Hawaii Department of Health 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 Hawaii.
The FDA is overseeing the development of commercially manufactured test kits for private and clinical laboratories that may be available next week.
COVID-19 Summary of Numbers as of March 6, 2020 (updated as new information becomes available)
Number of Confirmed Case(s) 1
Number of Persons Under Investigation (current, testing pending) 0
Number of Persons Under Investigation (closed, testing negative) 7
Number of Persons Under Quarantine 0
Number of Persons Self-Monitoring with DOH supervision 77
Of the 77 individuals who are self-monitoring with public health supervision, 70 are on Oahu, 2 are on Hawaii Island, 4 are on Maui, and 1 is on Kauai.
DOH is actively preparing and working with state, county, and federal partners including the medical community in Hawaii. The above summary shows test results and the number of individuals being monitored or under quarantine. These numbers fluctuate often as travelers arrive, depart, or begin and end their self-monitoring with supervision by DOH.
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 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 Department of Health staff.
Guidance for schools and childcare programs
The CDC recently posted interim guidance for administrators of childcare programs and K-12 schools to plan, prepare, and respond to COVID-19. School closures have taken place in Japan and South Korea.
Business continuity planning
State and county agencies are actively preparing for continuity of business operations to deal with the potential impact of COVID-19. The goal is to enable ongoing operations during a public health emergency. To address concerns about workers who have traveled to China, DOH developed a list of frequently asked questions and answers to guide local businesses.
National travel advisories
Before you travel, check out Travel Advisories and Alerts for your destination(s) at www.travel.state.gov/destination. The State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide specific advice to travelers on their websites.
Preventing the spread of misinformation and disease
The Department of Health is committed to sharing information as it becomes available. People are urged not to spread misinformation or inaccurate statements that are not confirmed, and keep updated and informed on the situation. Everyone can help prevent the spread of respiratory illness with these everyday actions.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from illnesses, including COVID-19. Keep in mind that supplies are limited and we need to make sure there are enough masks for our front-line health care workers. If you are sick then wear a mask to protect the people around you.
Prepare for the possibility that people may want to stay home or may be asked to stay home to prevent the spread of illness.
If you have daily medication needs, have more than a week’s supply on hand and have as much on hand as your insurance will allow you to have.
Not everyone can afford to stock up on supplies or has the space to store them, but anything you can arrange in advance means one less inconvenience or one less trip to the store while you are sick.
Make family plans for the possibility of school or day care closures. Do some contingency planning in advance at the family level.
Sign up for public notifications at health.hawaii.gov/news/covid-19-updates
Screening of arriving passengers at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu
Foreign nationals who have traveled to mainland China within the last 14 days are being denied entry into the U.S. This includes not only people with a China passport, but all foreign nationals per Department of Homeland Security guidance. The exception is U.S. citizens, legal permanent U.S. residents or their immediate family.
Enhanced screening procedures are in place at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport for passengers who have traveled to China and Iran within the last 14 days. Airport passenger screening continues to be conducted by federal authorities from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).