COVID-19 Daily Update March 4, 2020Posted on Mar 4, 2020 in COVID-19
Grand Princess cruise ship
The CDC announced it is investigating confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to the Grand Princess cruise ship which is returning to San Francisco. That cruise ship is different from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The Grand Princess had two passengers on a cruise to Mexico from Feb. 11-21 who became sick and after deboarding in California were confirmed for COVID-19. The same ship conducted a second cruise from San Francisco and docked in Hawai‘i from Feb. 26-29. While docked in Hawai‘i, an ill crew member was hospitalized and tested negative for COVID-19. At this time, the CDC has not identified a specific risk for Hawai‘i, and DOH will continue to work with them to determine if there is any potential health threat.
Updating physician guidance
Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) has issued a Medical Advisory Update to alert healthcare providers statewide about updated CDC criteria to guide the evaluation of persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19. The criteria for testing PUI has been expanded to a wider group of patients with symptoms. To make the best use of public health laboratory resources, physicians are advised to prioritize testing for hospitalized patients in serious condition. Physicians are required to contact the Disease Outbreak Control Division for authorization for testing.
State Laboratories Division testing
The Hawai‘i Department of Health is now capable of in-state testing for COVID-19 and 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 Hawai‘i. The FDA is overseeing the development of commercially manufactured test kits for private and clinical laboratories that may be available in a few weeks.
No cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawai‘i at this time
Currently, there are no cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawai‘i. DOH is actively preparing for possible cases and working with state, county, and federal partners including the medical community in Hawai‘i. The following summary shows the number of individuals being monitored or under quarantine. Many of these individuals were identified through screening by federal officials at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. These numbers fluctuate often as travelers arrive, depart, or begin and end their self-monitoring with supervision by DOH.
COVID-19 Summary of Numbers as of March 4, 2020
(updated as new information becomes available)
Number of Confirmed Case(s)
Number of Persons Under Investigation (current, testing pending)
Number of Persons Under Investigation (closed, testing negative)
Number of Persons Under Quarantine
Number of Persons Self-Monitoring with DOH supervision
72 individuals who are self-monitoring with public health supervision, 65 are on O‘ahu, 2 are on Hawai‘i Island, 3 are on Maui, and 2 are on Kaua‘i.
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 travelled to China, DOH developed a list of frequently asked questions and answers to guide local businesses.
Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT)
HDOT Airports Division is diligently working to clean and sanitize the facilities, especially common touchpoints like escalator handrails, doorknobs, and elevator buttons at airports statewide. HDOT is currently working to install additional hand sanitizer dispensers at HNL and neighbor island airports, especially in the lobbies and high passenger volume areas. Airlines are taking precautions by continually cleaning and sanitizing public areas, equipment and aircrafts.
National travel advisories
Before you travel, check out Travel Advisories and Alerts for your 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 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 within the last 14 days are being denied entry into the U.S. This includes not only people with a China 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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