Hawaii’s Coronavirus Response

Sep 25, 2020 | General Information

Table of Contents
Shortly after returning to Japan from Hawaii, in early February, a Japanese man was hospitalized with a high fever. He was then diagnosed with pneumonia and ultimately tested positive for COVID-19 – the latest name for Coronavirus. Hawaii’s response to this news exemplifies the readiness of Hawaii, its health authorities and tourism industry to act on COVID-19 prevention and protection measures.

Hawaii’s health authorities systematically investigated the case. State health authorities immediately tracked down the visitor’s itinerary in Hawaii with all specific places stayed and visited. The State’s Department of Health sent out a medical advisory to all health care providers in the state to be on the alert for other possible cases.

The visitor to Hawaii from Japan, who exhibited “cold-like symptoms” while in the islands, was diagnosed with coronavirus after returning home. He had not recently traveled to China. He wore a mask while traveling home to Japan. He did not have a fever in Hawaii. The traveler did not have any symptoms while visiting Maui. He began to exhibit “cold-like symptoms” while on Oahu in early February. On Oahu, he stayed at the Hilton’s Grand Waikikian. Hilton Grand Vacations went to work with health officials on followup steps to investigate any and all possible risks at the hotel.

The man had flown on a Hawaiian Airline flight from Kahului to Honolulu. The airline immediately reached out to crew, agents and anyone else involved in the flight. The airline will make sure that they are healthy. The Japanese man flew back to Japan on another carrier. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has followed up with Hawaiian Airline and the other international carrier for information on the passenger.

On February 10, a Hawaii resident became the state’s first mandatory quarantine case. The resident arrived in Honolulu after visiting China’s Hubei province several days earlier. Hubei is the epicenter of COVID-19 contamination in China. In addition, at least 35 people who traveled elsewhere in China are in “self-quarantine” in Hawaii, either at home or in hotel rooms. They are being monitored by state health officials and tracked via phone, texts or videoconferences several times a day. Health officials are doing spot checks to ensure that these individuals are staying away from the public.