Alerts

COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

February 28, 2020

Currently, there are no cases of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in Hawaii.

Beginning February 27 through March 12, 2020, Alaska Airlines will suspend change and cancellation fees for new flight bookings for guests who later decide not to travel because of concerns related to COVID-19. Click here and visit AlaskaAir.com for more information.

Beginning March 2 through April 30, 2020, due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in South Korea, Hawaiian Airlines will temporarily suspend its five-times-weekly nonstop service between Honolulu's Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and South Korea's Incheon International Airport (ICN). Guests are advised to check HawaiianAirlines.com for the latest updates on scheduled flights. Click here for the news release.

U.S. State Department Travel Advisories: www.travel.state.gov/destination

  • Travel to China: Level 4 - Do Not Travel
  • Travel to South Korea: Level 3 - Reconsider Travel
  • Travel to Japan: Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is encouraging everyone to help prevent the spread of respiratory illness with these everyday actions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Sign up for public notifications at https://health.hawaii.gov/news/covid-19-updates/.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority continues to work with DOH, state and county government officials, and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor the situation.

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OTHER INFORMATION

There are no direct flights between Wuhan, China and Hawaii. China Eastern Airlines suspended its flights between Shanghai and Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) on February 3, 2020. It was the only carrier with a direct flight to Hawaii (six times a week). There are no regularly scheduled flights from mainland China to Hawaii at this time.

The Daniel K. Inouye International Airport is one of the U.S. airports that will continue to receive flights carrying passengers from China. This includes enhanced screening procedures and the capacity to quarantine passengers, if needed: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/02/02/dhs-issues-supplemental-instructions-inbound-flights-individuals-who-have-been-china

The CDC expects more cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., however the risk of infection for Americans remains low.

With the U.S. declaring a public health emergency, foreign nationals who have recently traveled to China will not be allowed into the U.S. (other than immediate family members of US citizens and permanent residents) until further notice. In addition, U.S. citizens coming back into the country who have visited China within the past two weeks may have to undergo a mandatory quarantine of up to 14 days, along with anyone who is showing symptoms of coronavirus.

The U.S. Coast Guard will deny entry to the U.S any passenger vessels carrying passengers that have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) within the past 14 days. Non-passenger commercial vessels that have been to, or have crew that have been to, China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), with no sick crew members will be allowed entry to the U.S., but crew must remain aboard the vessel.

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RESOURCES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Hawaii State Department of Health
https://health.hawaii.gov/docd/advisories/novel-coronavirus-2019

FAQ Sheet: COVID-19 (English) (updated 2/13/20)
(Chinese - Simplified) (Chinese - Traditional) (Japanese) (Ilocano) (Korean)

Flyer: COVID-19 "What You Need to Know" (English) (updated 2/26/20)
(Chinese - Simplified) (Spanish)

Flyer: Managing Employees Returning from China (updated 2/10/20)

Hawaii State Department of Transportation
https://hidot.hawaii.gov/coronavirus/

Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism
Daily Visitor Statistics: http://dbedt.hawaii.gov/visitor/daily-passenger-counts/

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LOCAL MEDIA UPDATES

Statewide

Kauai

Oahu

Maui

Island of Hawaii

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NEWS RELEASE ARCHIVE

Information from Hawaiian Airlines' news release issued on February 26, 2020:

Hawaiian Airlines today announced its decision to temporarily suspend its five-times-weekly nonstop service between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and Incheon International Airport (ICN), beginning March 2 through April 30, due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in South Korea.

Full Press Release: https://newsroom.hawaiianairlines.com/releases/hawaiian-airlines-temporarily-suspending-incheon-service

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Information from the Hawaii State Department of Health's media update issued on February 20, 2020:

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is continuing to actively gather facts about a visiting husband and wife from Japan who came to Hawaii, January 28 - February 7, 2020. They visited Maui (January 28 - February 3) and Oahu (February 3-7). Upon their return home to Japan, they were confirmed to have COVID-19.

DOH officials do not believe that they caught it while in the Hawaiian Islands.

Further, February 20 was the last day that any individual who may have had prolonged, close contact with the couple would be expected to show symptoms. At this time, there is no indication of transmission or related illness.

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Information from the Hawaii State Department of Health's news release issued on February 14, 2020:

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) was notified today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that an adult male who traveled to Maui from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3 and to Oahu from Feb. 3-7 has been confirmed for COVID-19. The individual is a Japanese national who developed severe symptoms, sought medical care, and was diagnosed and tested after leaving Hawaii and returning home to Japan.

The Department of Health was informed that the individual had no symptoms while traveling on Maui and developed cold-like symptoms with no fever while staying on Oahu. The department has begun an investigation and is working closely with state, federal and county officials. A medical advisory was sent out today to alert the healthcare community in Hawaii to be vigilant about possible cases.

“The Department of Health has been expecting and preparing for identifying a travel-related case in Hawaii because of the widespread outbreak in China and other areas of the world. The state is more than ready with aggressive control and prevention measures as we work closely with our medical community and response partners,” said Health Director Bruce Anderson. “We are committed to keeping the public fully informed and will continue to provide updates as this situation unfolds.”

“The individual had no symptoms while on Maui and was not contagious,” said Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist. “There is no increased risk on Maui from possible exposure. On Oahu, the individual had cold-like symptoms with no fever. I have alerted physicians that it’s possible that cases may surface sometime before Feb. 21 because the onset of illness is generally within 14 days.”

Full Press Release: https://health.hawaii.gov/news/newsroom/hawaii-department-of-health-notified-of-confirmed-covid-19-case-who-traveled-to-maui-and-oahu/ 

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Information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's news release issued on January 31, 2020:

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency for the entire United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to 2019 novel coronavirus.

“While this virus poses a serious public health threat, the risk to the American public remains low at this time, and we are working to keep this risk low,” Secretary Azar said. “We are committed to protecting the health and safety of all Americans, and this public health emergency declaration is the latest in the series of steps the Trump Administration has taken to protect our country.”

The emergency declaration gives state, tribal, and local health departments more flexibility to request that HHS authorize them to temporarily reassign state, local, and tribal personnel to respond to 2019-nCoV if their salaries normally are funded in whole or in part by Public Health Service Act programs. These personnel could assist with public health information campaigns and other response activities.

Full Press Release: https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/01/31/secretary-azar-declares-public-health-emergency-us-2019-novel-coronavirus.html

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Information from the Hawaii State Department of Health's news release issued on January 29, 2020:

Although the risk to the general public is low, the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) is working with state, county, and federal partners including the medical community and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to actively prepare for possible cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Last week, the DOH alerted the medical community and information for healthcare providers has been posted at www.health.hawaii.gov.
 
Currently, there are no cases of 2019-nCoV identified in Hawaii and the risk to the general public is low. The novel coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China and currently there are more than 6,000 cases confirmed in China and at least 17 countries. This includes 132 deaths in China. There have been at least 5 cases in the U.S. of people who traveled to Wuhan or other areas in China and no evidence of person to person spread of the virus in the U.S.

“The Hawaii Department of Health is working closely with our emergency response network to put proactive measures in place to protect our residents and visitors,” said Health Director Bruce Anderson. “Because Hawaii is a major travel destination, planning and preparing for possible outbreaks is an ongoing activity. The emergence of the 2019 coronavirus in Wuhan and its potential to spread to areas outside of China poses an increased threat to travelers and Hawaii residents and we’ve ramped up our efforts.”

“We are advising people not to travel to China at this time,” said Anderson. “Various areas in China have been placed under quarantine by the Chinese government, and travel within the country is either completely prohibited or significantly curtailed to prevent the spread of this disease.”

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Press release issued by the Hawaii Department of Transportation on January 28, 2020:

The HDOT Airports Division (HDOTA) works closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Hawaii Department of Health regarding the coronavirus. The Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) is one of 20 airports in the country with a CDC Quarantine Station enforcing foreign quarantine regulations. For information regarding the quarantine stations click here.

HDOTA follows the direction of the CDC regarding additional screening practices at any of the airports in the state. The CDC initially announced entry screening at San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX) and New York (JFK) and has added Atlanta (ATL) and Chicago (ORD) to the list. There are no direct flights from Wuhan, China to Hawaii. HDOTA will continue to monitor communication and developments with the CDC regarding the evolving situation. Additional questions may be directed to the CDC newsroom.

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Press release issued by the Centers for Disease Control on January 28, 2020:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated travel guidance for China, recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to all of the country (Level 3 Travel Health Notice). This warning is in response to an ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (2019-nCoV) spreading between people in many parts of that country.

In the United States, there have been 5 cases of 2019-nCoV detected in travelers returning from Wuhan. No person-to-person spread has been detected in the United States at this time and this virus is NOT spreading in the community.

Based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time. However, risk is dependent on exposure and some people will have greater risk of infection, for example, healthcare workers caring for 2019-nCoV patients and other close contacts. CDC is aggressively responding to this serious public health situation to help protect the health of Americans. This response may cause disruptions in some people’s daily lives. This is unfortunate, but necessary to protect the health of Americans.

Full press release: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/s0128-travelers-avoid-china.html

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Press release issued by the Centers for Disease Control on January 26, 2020:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed additional travel-related infections of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the United States, this time in Arizona and California. These patients recently returned to the U.S. from Wuhan, China, where an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus has been ongoing since December 2019. This brings the total number of 2019-nCoV infections detected in the United States to five -- none in Hawaii.

Full press release: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/s0126-coronavirus-new-cases.html

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Press release issued by the Hawaii Department of Health on January 21, 2020:

Hawaii Department of Health provides guidance to healthcare providers for 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak in China
Everyone is advised to get a flu vaccination

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) is advising physicians statewide to be alert for patients who have travelled from Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The department sent out a detailed medical advisory to healthcare providers today on reporting, testing, specimen collection, and interim healthcare infection control recommendations for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Providers are advised to notify the DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division immediately if a patient meets the case criteria.

The DOH is also advising everyone (six months of age or older) and especially those who travel to receive a flu vaccination. Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist, said, “With the current flu activity, there will likely be crossover in clinical presentation so the more people vaccinated against flu, the more helpful that will be.”

The DOH is closely monitoring the outbreak of 2019-nCoV occurring in China and regularly coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to issuing a Medical Advisory today to ensure all clinical providers are informed, the DOH is coordinating with Emergency Medical Service personnel/first responders, the Department of Transportation, and infection control partners in medical facilities throughout the state. DOH is also monitoring its well-established respiratory surveillance network which reviews flu activity in the state. Online resources for the 2019-nCoV are posted at https://health.hawaii.gov/prepare/cdc-issues-warning-about-pneumonia-cases-in-wuhan-china-caused-by-novel-coronavirus/.

An outbreak of a 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China has been developing since December 2019. This outbreak now includes more than 300 confirmed infections and several deaths in China with confirmed cases also in Thailand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States (one case in Washington State). While human-to-human transmission appears limited, the situation continues to evolve. Nearly all travelers from China enter the state from other U.S. or international ports of entry.

If you have traveled to Wuhan and feel sick, you should do the following:

  1. Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  2. Stay home. Except for seeking medical care, avoid contact with others.
  3. Not travel while sick.
  4. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  5. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

For more information, including information for clinicians and public health professionals, please go to the following CDC and WHO webpages:

  1. wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/novel-coronavirus-china
  2. www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019.html
  3. www.who.int/csr/don/05-january-2020-pneumonia-of-unkown-cause-china/en/