COVID-19 Daily Update March 5, 2020
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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
DAVID Y. IGE
BRUCE S. ANDERSON, Ph.D.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2020 20-0014
COVID-19 Daily Update
The CDC is continuing to monitor passengers aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship that is waiting to return to San Francisco. The Grand Princess had two passengers on a cruise to Mexico from Feb. 11-21 who became sick and after disembarking 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.
Yesterday, Gov. David Ige issued an emergency proclamation that allows the state to work quickly and efficiently to prevent, contain, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and to provide emergency relief if necessary. This includes authorizing the expenditure of state funds on equipment and supplies as needed. Mayors from the City and County of Honolulu, Maui, Kaua’i and Hawai’i Island have also issued emergency proclamations.
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. Healthcare facilities and clinics are being asked to review their current visitor policies and consider limiting visitors or at least screening them for illness.
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
Of the 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 traveled 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 touch-points 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.
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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