February 18, 2020

Update from Hawaiʻi Department of Health as of Feb. 18, 2020

The Hawaiʻi Department of Health (DOH) is continuing to actively gather facts and interview individuals based on limited information about a husband and wife who travelled together from Japan to Hawaiʻi and after returning home to Japan, tested positive for COVID-19. DOH immediately began an investigation to identify possible close contacts and determine health risk.

To date, no individuals with prolonged close contact have been identified in Hawaiʻi. Casual contacts who are not at risk have been interviewed and are not in need of monitoring based on current federal guidelines. All persons identified are either low or no risk, and no one is required to be monitored under public health supervision related to this situation. Work to track possible close contacts is ongoing, and DOH is working closely with state, federal, and international partners.

Currently, there are no cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawaiʻi. DOH is actively preparing for possible cases and working with state, county, and federal partners including the medical community and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The following summary as of Feb. 18 shows the number of individuals being monitored or under quarantine because of their recent travel to China. These individuals were identified through screening by federal officials at the Daniel K. International Airport.

COVID-19 Summary of Numbers as of Feb. 18, 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)   0
Number of Persons Under Quarantine   1
Number of Persons Self-Monitoring   42

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.

Janice Okubo
Hawaii Department of Health
Communications Office


February 14, 2020

Hawaiʻi Department of Health notified of confirmed
COVID-19 case who traveled to Maui and Oʻahu

HONOLULU – The Hawaiʻi Department of Health (DOH) was notified today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that an adult male who traveled to Maui from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3 and to Oahu from Feb. 3-7 has been confirmed for COVID-19. The individual is a Japanese national who developed severe symptoms, sought medical care, and was diagnosed and tested after leaving Hawaiʻi and returning home to Japan.

The Department of Health was informed that the individual had no symptoms while traveling on Maui and developed cold-like symptoms with no fever while staying on Oahu. The department has begun an investigation and is working closely with state, federal and county officials. A medical advisory was sent out today to alert the healthcare community in Hawaiʻi to be vigilant about possible cases.

“The Department of Health has been expecting and preparing for identifying a travel-related case in Hawaii because of the widespread outbreak in China and other areas of the world. The state is more than ready with aggressive control and prevention measures as we work closely with our medical community and response partners,” said Health Director Bruce Anderson. “We are committed to keeping the public fully informed and will continue to provide updates as this situation unfolds.”

“The individual had no symptoms while on Maui and was not contagious,” said Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist. “There is no increased risk on Maui from possible exposure. On Oahu, the individual had cold-like symptoms with no fever. I have alerted physicians that it’s possible that cases may surface sometime before Feb. 21 because the onset of illness is generally within 14 days.”

While traveling on Oʻahu, the individual stayed with his wife at a timeshare at the Grand Wakikian by Hilton Grand Vacations. The individual did not seek medical care in Hawaiʻi and may have worn a mask during parts of his travel. DOH was informed that the individual wore a mask during his flight back to Japan. Using an mask when you are ill can protect others from becoming infected.

The Department of Health is committed to sharing information as it becomes available. People are urged not 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.

Get your flu shot. With current seasonal influenza activity, it is likely there will be confusion as persons with influenza will exhibit similar signs and symptoms such as fever and cough. We strongly recommend residents 6 months and older protect themselves against flu by receiving the seasonal influenza vaccination.

For information on the 2019-nCoV outbreak, including information for clinicians and public health professionals, visit the following websites.

health.hawaii.gov/docd/advisories/novel-coronavirus-2019/
www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/novel-coronavirus-china
https://hidot.hawaii.gov/coronavirus/

Call Aloha United Way’s 211 hotline for information by phone, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.


February 5, 2020

Aloha All Employees from the State Department of Health,

As the new coronavirus has been headlining the news recently, we’d like to remind everyone that there are NO cases in Hawaiʻi at this time. Though the immediate health risk in Hawaiʻi is low, we recognize the seriousness of the situation and the State is working diligently with county and federal officials around the clock. It is anticipated that at some point there may be a case identified in Hawaiʻi and the Department of Health is continually updating information as the situation evolves and federal directives change. We urge everyone to learn about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by staying informed with credible sources, such as the Department of Health’s website.

Please take a moment to review and feel free to point others to the Department of Health’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at: https://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2020/01/2019_nCoV_FAQ.pdf

Additional information and resources are available at the DOH website at www.health.hawaii.gov. Click on the coronavirus banner to visit: https://health.hawaii.gov/docd/advisories/novel-coronavirus-2019/

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is available at www.cdc.gov/ncov

Aloha United Way is also available at 211 from anywhere in Hawaiʻi, Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for information and referral services as indicated on the attached flier, “2019-nCoV Flyer – What You Need to Know.”

Last modified: February 19, 2020