Four Big Island residents self-monitoring for COVID-19

  • This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

Fifty-six Hawaii residents, including four on the Big Island, are self-monitoring for COVID-19, the newly identified coronavirus, state officials announced Friday afternoon.

To date, just one person has been in quarantine, the State of Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center said in a press release. The center did not provide additional information on the quarantined individual.

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“Currently, there are no cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawaii. DOH is actively preparing for possible cases and working with state, county, and federal partners including the medical community in Hawaii,” the center said.

In addition, there have been no samples sent from Hawaii to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for testing because no one in Hawaii meets the CDC criteria. Per the CDC, testing is only conducted on individuals who meet the criteria as a person of interest, who exhibit symptoms of respiratory illness (cough or shortness of breath) and has traveled to China within the past 14 days.

The 57 individuals being monitored or under quarantine were identified because of their recent travel to China were identified through screening by federal officials at the Daniel K. International Airport, according to the release.

Self-monitoring means voluntarily remaining at home and refrain from work, school, gathering places, and public transit, and communicating daily with Department of Health staff. Quarantined individuals are required to remain in a designated location, separated from others, and are actively monitored by Department of Health staff. Quarantine is enforceable by law.

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The state Department of Health advises to help prevent the spread of respiratory that people wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; avoid close contact with people who are sick; stay home when sick; cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue; and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects.

COVID-19 information is also available in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Ilocano languages under “Resources” at the DOH website at https://health.hawaii.gov/docd/advisories/novel-coronavirus-2019.

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