Hawaii Resident Under Quarantine After Returning From Hubei Province In China

Feb 11, 2020

A Hawaii resident is under mandatory quarantine at Pearl Harbor after arriving from Hubei Province in China on Monday.

Hawaii Department of Health officials explained that although the resident does not have any symptoms of coronavirus, federal guidelines call for immediate quarantine for those who have been to Hubei Province, where the outbreak originated.

“Our understanding is this is a lone traveler. There are no other individuals that we have to worry about monitoring,” said State Epidemiologist Sarah Park. “I also want to stress this is a Hawaii resident. This is one of our own, we need to take care of our community and that includes people coming home. The individual has been very compliant thus far.”

Coronavirus has killed over 1,000 people and infected more than 43,000 worldwide, including 13 in the U.S. 

There are still no cases of coronavirus in Hawaii.

Because those infected can take up to 14 days to show symptoms, the Hawaii traveler will need to be quarantined for two weeks.

The state has advised travelers returning from areas of China other than Hubei Province to self-quarantine at home.

State Health Director Bruce Anderson said there are currently 26 people in self-quarantine and his department calls them daily.

“That number is going to change every day,” he said. “We were talking about seven a week ago and I expect tomorrow we will have a different number for you. People are coming and going all the time.”

The 26 people in self-quarantine at their homes or hotels are a mix of Hawaii residents and those returning to the Mainland.

Anderson said the people in quarantine -- none of whom are showing symptoms -- will be monitored by medical personnel, and if they do become sick, they will be taken to a hospital for evaluation.

The state still must send samples it collects to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to test for the virus. Park estimates that it takes up to a week to receive results.

The state expects to receive its own test kits by the end of the week. Once done locally, the tests could return results within as little as six hours, Park said.