Hawai‘i Confirms Its First Case of COVID-19

March 6, 2020, 3:55 PM HST · Updated March 6, 6:03 PM
Wendy Osher · 0 Comments
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Hawaiʻi has its first confirmed case of COVID-19, after a Hawaiʻi resident spent time on the Grand Princess cruise ship that traveled to Mexico in February.

The patient 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.

The individual’s results are positive for COVID-19.  The test was submitted yesterday and came back today.  State officials say the individual remains at home under quarantine.

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“This was not a case that was spread in the community.  We wanted to reemphasize that.  We believe that they became infected on the trip itself,” said Governor David Ige in a press conference held on this afternoon, Friday, March 6, 2020.

There are currently almost 90 people who are under self-quarantine in Hawaiʻi, (most of them identified through screening by federal officials at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport) but this is the first case that has come back positive in the state for the new novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

The cruise ship that the Hawaiʻi resident was on had two people aboard that tested positive for COVID-19, one of whom later died.

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.  There were more than 50 individuals who continued on from the previous cruise to the cruise in the Hawaiian Islands.  That ship is now sitting in waters off of San Fransisco, California while tests are being conducted offshore.

“We learned from Vice President Mike Pence’s news conference this afternoon that 21 individuals–19 crew members and two passengers–on the cruise ship, the Grand Princess, have tested positive for COVID-19.  The ship is currently anchored offshore of San Francisco while they await further test results.  We know that this vessel was in Hawaiʻi and made stops on Kauaʻi on Feb 26, in Honolulu on Feb. 27, in Lahaina, Maui on Feb. 28 and in Hilo, Hawaiʻi on Feb. 29,” said Gov. Ige.

Health officials say they are going to be contacting all of those who disembarked the vessel and will be asking them to self quarantine.  The department will also be following up with those individuals to get a detailed history of their travel history while they were here.  This will include identification of close contacts and follow up from there.

*This story will be updated.//Video courtesy Hawaii Department of Health//Mike Pence Twitter account.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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