HONOLULU (KHON2) — Kauai County officials announced that two visitors on Kauai tested presumptive positive for coronavirus on March 13.
According to Hawaii Governor David Ige on March 14, two adult visitors, who have been identified as a man and a woman, traveled from the U.S. mainland to Maui from Indiana on a direct United Airlines flight on March 2. Officials do not yet know what United Airlines flight that the two flew on. The couple reportedly stayed in a hotel in Lahaina between March 2 through March 8.
On March 4, Gov. Ige said that ‘Case A’ was seen at an urgent care facility and was given a rapid flu test that tested negative. On the same day, ‘Case B’ started to feel ill.
On March 7, Case B was seen at an urgent care facility.
On March 8, the couple then traveled to Kauai on Hawaiian Airlines flight 149 and reportedly stayed at the Kauai Marriot Resort, which is located in Lihue.
Case A was later seen at an urgent care facility on March 9 and was prescribed antibiotics on Kauai. On March 12, Case A was later seen at Wilcox Memorial Hospital.
“At that setting, they informed the healthcare professionals that they had close contact with an individual who was COVID-19 positive,” said Gov. Ige.
The governor says that the person the couple came in close contact with was before their trip to Hawaii in the U.S. mainland. Officials are following up with the State Health Department in that area. Ige did not disclose what state this person is located in.
Kauai officials say that the couple’s test results returned presumptive positive for coronavirus on March 13.
“We are working very closely with the Hawaii Health Department and our local Maui District Health Office, who are investigating this matter thoroughly and tracing these visitors’ steps on our island. The State DOH is leading this investigation and will provide further information. We want to ask the public to remain calm and stay informed through official sources, including the Governor’s Office, DOH and County of Maui,” said Mayor Michael Victorino.
The two are currently in an isolation facility provided by the county, which officials say is away from the general public.
State officials are working to investigate the couple’s itinerary and are working to identify and notify those they have been in contact with.
At this time, at least three healthcare workers, one on Kauai and two on Maui, have been excluded from work because of possible exposure.
Hawaii’s first confirmed case is an adult male who had been on the Grand Princess and is currently in mild to moderate condition. The second case announced is an elderly adult of Oahu who had traveled from Washington State, fell ill, and traveled back to Hawaii. The patient is currently in serious condition.
With all four cases tied to travel and the number of visitors that the state sees every day, KHON2 asked Gov. Ige if our airports will see an increase in screening.
“Our experience is that screening at the airport is not effective,” he said. “It requires a lot of resources. We get thousands — tens and thousands of visitors — at the airport each and every day. We talked about our testing capacity of 500, and we’re gonna test 1,000 people from all around the world? That’s not a practical solution.”
Gov. Ige says that the State’s current efforts include providing information to visitors if they fall ill.
Stay tuned with KHON2 as more information is made available.