Police chief: All employees tested Monday negative for COVID-19

  • Ferreira

All Hawaii Police Department employees tested Monday for COVID-19 after a Kona patrol officer was confirmed to have the novel coronavirus last week have received negative results.

Police Chief Paul Ferreira told West Hawaii Today shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday that he’d just been informed tests conducted Monday on more than 50 employees who had contact with the affected officer had all come back negative.

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“Good news,” he said.

Meanwhile, the patrol officer who tested positive for COVID-19 remains on paid leave. Ferreira said Thursday morning the officer, who was asymptomatic when the first responder was randomly screened at a drive-through testing on April 15, remains asymptomatic and family members also have not exhibited symptoms.

“The officer is out on paid leave, under self-quarantine and (being) monitored by (the) Department of Health and our supervisors remain in contact with the officer,” Ferreira said Wednesday.

The chief said the state Department of Health is investigating and he’s been informed by staff that the public isn’t at risk. The officer had not had any recent travel history.

The positive test announced Wednesday was the first for sworn personnel of the Hawaii Police Department, but the second among its employees. Earlier this month, a civilian employee in the Records Division tested positive.

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A total number of employees tested had not yet been tallied Thursday because some personnel “may have sought testing on their own without our knowledge,” according to Ferreira.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a few weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including life-threatening pneumonia.

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