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The Hawaiʻi Department of Health is announcing a second presumptive positive result for COVID-19 in the state.
An elderly resident of Oʻahu is the latest individual in Hawaiʻi to test presumptively positive for COVID-19 or coronavirus. The individual traveled to the state of Washinton and started to feel ill on March 2, 2020, according to information provided by Gov. David Ige during a press conference this evening. The individual returned to Hawaiʻi on March 4, and immediately went to an urgent care facility, according to state officials. The individual checked into a hospital on March 7, and a sample was taken based on his travel history to Washington.
Authorities say the man is currently at a hospital in isolation.
State officials say they are working with the CDC to get more information about this case and will be working to determine specific travels and contacts. Authorities will be reaching out to those who may have had any exposure. State health officials say the man was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
Health officials say the Oʻahu hospital has taken protective and preventive measures and is working with healthcare workers to ensure health and safety. Information is still being gathered and as more information becomes available, the public will be advised.
The Department of Health has notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is working with them. CDC procedures includes a notification of plane records for individuals who could potentially be at risk. This includes individuals who were seated in the same row and up to two rows ahead or behind of the individual on the plane.
The Department of Health plans to follow up with close contacts in Hawaiʻi. Information is still being gathered and the investigation is ongoing.
A press conference started at 5 p.m. this evening (Sunday, March 8, 2020). Governor David Ige, Health Director Bruce Anderson and State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park are among those who are provide further details about the newest case.
Hawaiʻi’s First Presumptive Positive COVID-19 Case Involved Individual who Had Recently Returned from a Cruise Aboard the Grand Princess to Mexico:
Hawaiʻi’s first presumptive positive COVID-19 case was announced on Friday and involved an Oʻahu resident who had been a passenger aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship that traveled to Mexico in February.
The patient identified on Friday, was on a voyage that started on Feb. 11 and concluded on Feb. 21, 2020. The individual disembarked in Mexico and flew to Honolulu, where they became ill and sought medical care here. State officials say the individual remains at home under quarantine.
After concluding the Mexico cruise, that particular cruise ship later conducted a separate cruise that traveled within the Hawaiian Islands, stopping at four ports while here. To date, there have been 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (19 crew members and 2 passengers) on the Grand Princess cruise ship that made port calls to Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauaʻi on Feb. 26, Honolulu Harbor on Feb. 27, Lahaina, Maui on Feb. 28, and Hilo on Feb. 29. The ship is currently held off the coast of California and additional testing of all passengers and crew is pending.
County of Maui Encourages Precautions for COVID-19
The County of Maui is encouraging all residents, especially older adults and those with serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, to take extra precautions to help ensure their protection from COVID-19.
“I continue to encourage our community to remain calm, but also ask those most vulnerable to consider staying at home a little more, avoid anyone who is sick and wash your hands often,” Mayor Michael Victorino said in a press release on Sunday afternoon. “The health and safety of our kupuna is incredibly important, and everyone can do their part to protect their loved ones.”
The Centers for Disease Control provides the following recommendations for those who may have a higher risk of getting sick from COVID-19:
- Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications. If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications.
- Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
- Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for at least 14 days. (The public is discouraged from hoarding supplies.)
- Avoid crowds as much as possible and keep space between yourself and others
- Take everyday preventive actions, such as washing hands often and avoid touching your face, nose and eyes.
- To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people. Try to use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.If you do get sick, the CDC recommends that you stay at home and call your doctor to let them know about your symptoms. Emergency warning signs could include: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse and bluish lips or face.“If you or your loved ones are more susceptible to the coronavirus, I encourage you to prepare a plan and talk with your doctor,” Mayor Victorino said.