COVID-19 UPDATE: 2 Test Negative For Virus

March 7, 2020, 5:37 PM HST · Updated March 8, 8:16 AM
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This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. PC: Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM. Content provider: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS

COVID-19 Daily Update

First presumptive positive case on Oʻahu

On Friday, the Hawaiʻi Department of Health (DOH) announced presumptive positive test results for a person under investigation on Oʻahu. The individual was a passenger on the Grand Princess cruise in Mexico from Feb. 11-21. After arriving in Mexico, the individual traveled home to Honolulu with no symptoms. While home in Honolulu, the individual became ill on March 1, sought medical care and was tested on March 6. The individual is currently isolated at home with mild to moderate symptoms and is monitored daily by DOH. The department is conducting a detailed trace investigation to identify, notify, and provide guidance to all close contacts as quickly as possible.

Grand Princess cruise ship

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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. The Department of Health is working closely with the CDC to notify any passengers in Hawaiʻi and trace all close contacts. Close contact is defined as close personal face-to-face contact for more than 10 minutes. As the investigation continues and more information is gathered, DOH is contacting all passengers and close contacts in Hawaiʻi to ensure they are under appropriate isolation or quarantine.

State Laboratories Division testing

The Hawaiʻi 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 Hawaiʻi. It is anticipated that private and clinical labs in California and Hawaiʻi may have testing capability as early as next week.

COVID-19 Summary of Numbers as of March 7, 2020
(updated as new information becomes available)

Number of Presumptive Positive or Confirmed Case(s)  1
Number of Persons Under Investigation (current, testing pending)  2
Number of Persons Under Investigation (closed, testing negative)13
Number of Persons Under Quarantine  0
Number of Persons Self-Monitoring with DOH supervision76

UPDATE:  The two persons under investigation (PUI) listed in the COVID-19 daily media update (3/7/20) tested negative for COVID-19.

Of the 76 individuals who are self-monitoring with public health supervision, 69 are on Oʻahu, 2 are on Hawaiʻi Island, 4 are on Maui, and 1 is on Kʻauai. 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 traveling, review Travel Advisories and Alerts for 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 and Iran within the last 14 days are being denied entry into the U.S. This includes not only people with a China or Iran 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).

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