DOH News Release: COVID-19 JIC Media Update 3/15/20Posted on Mar 15, 2020 in Latest Department News
Additional test results received from private laboratories – individuals exposed during out-of-state travel
As of March 15, 2020, there are a total of seven confirmed positive test results for COVID-19 in Hawai‘i. Three of the seven positive results were announced today for two O‘ahu residents and one visitor on Maui. All of the cases are travel related and were exposed outside of Hawai‘i. The Department of Health received the three recent test results late yesterday from Clinical Labs of Hawaii and immediately notified Honolulu and Maui Counties and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The two O‘ahu residents are recovering in self-isolation at home and the Maui visitor is in isolation at a Lahaina facility away from the public. The Department of Health is monitoring all of these individuals and supervising their isolation as well as the self-quarantine of their family members.
A total of approximately 80 test results received from Clinical Labs of Hawaii yesterday are being reviewed by the Department of Health. Three of the test results were positive and the rest of the test results were negative. Some of the negative reports were duplicated and required additional review.
Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease. Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
DOE extends spring break through March 27 for all public schools
The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) is extending its spring break through March 27 for all public and charter school students. The Department will use the additional time from March 23-27 to plan for implementation of social distancing within the school setting, arrange for professional development to support modified operations, and thoroughly clean schools. View the news release online here.
DOH Guidance on Public Events and Group Gatherings
To protect the public’s health and wellbeing, the Hawa‘i Department of Health is recommending large, crowded gatherings or public events be postponed or canceled. The Department of Health is recommending gatherings held in enclosed spaces that do not allow social distancing also be postponed or canceled or held virtually. When possible, attendees should be about two-arms-length or six feet apart. Elderly adults and those with underlying health conditions who are at a greater risk for COVID-19 or respiratory illnesses should avoid attending large public gatherings.
Wilcox Medical Center offering COVID-19 drive-up specimen collection
Wilcox, along with Hawai‘i Pacific Health’s three O‘ahu medical centers – Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, Pali Momi Medical Center and Straub Medical Center – began offering drive-up specimen collections on Friday, March 13. Regular hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Patients need a physician order for the test, along with a photo ID and insurance card. So, it’s very important for people to know that if they are interested in being tested, they need to contact their doctor first. Their doctor will determine the need for testing based on a number of factors, including symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath), travel history and/or other concerns for COVID-19. Should their doctor decide that the patient meets the criteria for COVID-19 testing, their doctor will provide a lab order for the test.
The Queen’s Medical Center – Punchbowl
The Queen’s Medical Center – Punchbowl has established a triage center. A tent has been set up to screen patients for COVID-19 from 10 am to 6 pm daily. Only symptomatic people at risk who have doctor’s orders will be tested. The tent is only for those with mild to moderate flu-like symptoms. Patients that need any significant level of care will be triaged into the main emergency room. Other healthcare facilities, including those on the neighbor islands, also have plans to establish similar COVID-19 testing sites.
Extended Hours for Public Calls to AUW 2-1-1 on COVID-19
Aloha United Way has extended its public call center hours to 7 a.m. – 10 p.m., 7 days a week. For more information or questions about COVID-19:
- Call 2-1-1 from any location in the state
- Text 877-275-6569
- Email [email protected]
- Visit health.hawaii.gov/covid19 or coronavirus.gov
COVID-19 Summary of Numbers as of March 15, 2020 at 5 p.m.
(updated as new information becomes available)
|Number of Confirmed or Presumptive Positive Case(s)*||7|
|Number of Persons Under Investigation (current, testing pending)||1|
|Number of Persons Under Investigation (closed, testing negative)||49|
|Number of Persons Self-Monitoring with DOH supervision||9|
The 9 individuals who are self-monitoring with public health supervision are all on O‘ahu. These numbers fluctuate often as travelers arrive, depart, or begin and end their self-monitoring with supervision by DOH.
Confirmed: Meets CDC criteria and positive test result received from a certified laboratory such as the DOH State Laboratories Division.
*The CDC has advised states that respiratory samples positive for SARS-CoV2 in a state and public-health laboratory will be considered “positive” with no need for further testing.
Presumptive Positive: Positive test results from a private laboratory requiring confirmation by a state public health laboratory.
Person Under Investigation (PUI): Meets CDC criteria for investigation and testing pending.
Monitoring: Individuals voluntarily remain at home and refrain from work, school, gathering places, and public transit. They communicate daily with Department of Health staff.
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Email: [email protected]
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center