Three individuals on the Big Island are among the 72 in Hawaii who are still self-monitoring under the supervision of public health officials for COVID-19.
Self-monitoring individuals voluntarily remain at home and refrain from work, school, gathering places and public transit and communicate daily with state Department of Health staff. Many of the individuals were identified through screening by federal officials at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.
As of Thursday afternoon, no cases of COVID-19 were identified in Hawaii.
According to a daily update from the state’s COVID-19 Joint Information Center, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to monitor passengers aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship, which is waiting to return to San Francisco from Hawaii.
The Grand Princess had two passengers on a Feb. 11-21 cruise to Mexico diagnosed with COVID-19 after disembarking.
The same ship conducted a second cruise and docked in Hawaii from Feb. 26-29. It visited four Hawaii ports, including Hilo.
An ill crew member was hospitalized at Hilo Medical Center but tested negative for COVID-19 earlier this week.
“At this time, the CDC has not identified a specific risk for Hawaii, and DOH will continue to work with them to determine if there is any potential health threat,” the update reads.
According to the Joint Information Center, criteria for testing persons under investigation has been expanded to a wider group of patients with symptoms.
Physicians, who are required to contact the Disease Outbreak Control Division for testing authorization, have been advised to prioritize testing for hospital patients in serious condition.
Health care facilities and clinics are being asked to review visitor policies and to consider limiting visitors or screening them for illness.
The state DOH has been able to test in state for COVID-19 for nearly a week now, and the results can be ready within 1-2 days of a sample being collected, according to the Joint Information Center.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is overseeing the development of commercially manufactured test kits for private and clinical laboratories that might be available in a few weeks.
The state Department of Transportation Airports Division also is working to clean and sanitize airport facilities statewide, and is working to install additional hand sanitizer dispensers.
Meanwhile, airlines are taking precautions by “continually cleaning and sanitizing public areas, equipment and aircrafts,” the Joint Information Center states.