Hawai’i Confirms 56 Individuals Are Self-Monitoring For COVID-19 Symptoms

A Japanese visitor tested positive for the COVID-19 disease after visiting Hawaii

oahu lagoon and hotel in the distance

A Hawai’i Department of Health (DOH) press release reaffirmed there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 disease in the Hawaiian Islands.

However, there are 56 people within Hawaiian borders self-monitoring, with 1 person still in quarantine, as of February 21, 2020.

Of the 56 individuals who are self-monitoring, 51 are located on O‘ahu, 4 are on the Big Island and 1 person is on Maui.

Previously, the Hawai’i DOH was informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on February 14th that a traveler from Japan was hospitalized and tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease called COVID-19, after visiting Hawaii.

The traveler’s wife also became symptomatic after returning to Japan and tested positive for COVID-19. The travelers visited Maui from January 28 to February 3, and Oahu from February 3 to February 6, 2020. 

After an extensive investigation by Hawai’i DOH, no one has been identified as having had close contact with the travelers and subsequently becoming ill.

Furthermore, the Hawai’i DOH continues to monitor closely for any potential concerns related to this situation.

The CDC says the current understanding of how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. 

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person when they are the sickest.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, says the CDC.

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To better inform international travelers of the health risks, the CDC issued Level 1 Travel Alerts for Japan and Hong Kong on February 19, 2020.

These Travel Alerts indicate that people should “practice usual precautions” when traveling to these locations and emphasizes the importance of these precautions to prevent illness while traveling. 

These precautions include avoiding contact with sick people, avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and cleaning your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Furthermore, anyone with plans to travel internationally should stay apprised of the latest Traveler’s Health Recommendations for their specific destination, as this is an evolving situation.

Additionally, the CDC says healthcare providers should obtain a detailed travel history for patients returning from Asian countries who display a fever or acute respiratory symptoms.

And, if travelers need to seek medical advice, call before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell the staff about your recent travel to Japan.

Additionally, the CDC has recommended that U.S. citizens reconsider travel by cruise ship to or within East Asia and the Asia-Pacific Region.

International travel alerts are published by Vax-Before-Travel.