Commander: Military Accounts For 7% Of Hawaii Virus Cases

Aug 12, 2020

The head of the U.S. military's Indo-Pacific Command has said that service members and their families represent about 7% of the coronavirus cases in Hawaii.

Adm. Phil Davidson released the infection figures in a memo to Indo-Pacific service component commanders, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday.

The memo cites the 7% figure, which translates into about 204 service members among the 2,914 people in Hawaii who had been infected with the virus when Davidson issued his message.

About 43,000 active duty military members, 9,600 National Guard and Reserve, 60,000 dependents and 20,000 military employees live and work in Hawaii.

The U.S. Department of Defense does not normally report the aggregate number of COVID-19 cases among service members at individual units, bases or combatant commands because of security concerns.

All military commands in Hawaii were operating at Health Protection Condition Charlie, an elevated risk of sustained community transmission, said Davidson, who is based at Camp H.M. Smith on Oahu.

A 14-day “restriction of movement” remains in effect for service members arriving on island, Davidson said.

A day after the release of Davidson’s memo, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara, director of emergency management for Hawaii, said a 14-day self-quarantine exemption previously granted for military family members arriving on “permanent change of station” orders had been revoked.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.