What the Hawaii Department of Health is Doing
The Hawaii Department of Health has assembled teams to investigate and trace the spread of COVID-19. These teams work together to track persons with COVID-19 and provide valuable data that helps us learn how the virus spreads and more importantly, how to slow that spread.
Through various partnerships, the Department of Health has ongoing teams of investigators and contact tracers working hard to interview persons with COVID-19, notify contacts and report information collected to our data page.
*The City & County of Honolulu contract staff counts have been separated into active staff counts, representing those currently scheduled to work at the time of reporting, and reserve / on call staff counts, representing those not scheduled to work but available to come in if needed. For the purposes of consistency across staff types, only the active staff counts are included in this graphic beginning with the January 22 report. 37 staff are scheduled to work for the City & County of Honolulu at the time of reporting, an additional 42 reserve / on call staff were included in the previous week’s staffing report.
Investigation Teams work hard to trace the spread of COVID-19. The number of contact tracers varies and is reported here each week. The Department of Health has contact tracers working on Oahu and the neighbor islands of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai.
The Department of Health will follow three principles in making reopening recommendations.
Surveillance and Detection
- Healthcare providers and laboratories are required to report all cases of COVID-19 to the Hawaii Department of Health
- Trends and patterns in disease occurrence are identified using existing disease surveillance programs
- COVID-19 Sentinel Surveillance – Monitoring the virus with testing
Case Investigation and Isolation
- Case investigators interview the case to find out if the person became infected in Hawaii or while visiting another area.
- Investigators advise the case to isolate from others while they are contagious
- Isolation and Quarantine Guidance (PDF)
- Investigators work with the case to identify anyone with whom they have had close contact while they were contagious
- Close contacts that were identified are notified by either the case or the contact tracer and instructed to remain at home (self-quarantine) for 14 days
- Stopping COVID-19 in its tracks – What does a contact tracer do?
- Stopping COVID-19 in its tracks – What is Contact Tracing?
- Close contacts of cases who develop symptoms should be tested for COVID-19
Preparation and Prevention
- We issue advisories for the medical community to inform hospitals and providers on current COVID-19 recommendations.
- We communicate regularly with local partners in the travel industry and schools to address concerns and ensure the latest and most accurate guidance and information are being shared with their staff.