UPDATE: 4:20 p.m.
Gov. David Ige today declared a state of emergency allowing Hawaii to use funds to act quickly in containing the spread of the coronavirus when an outbreak occurs in the islands.
The measure allows for “funding flexibility” to buy supplies and equipment and gives the governor authority to suspend any laws that may impede emergency functions.
The mayors of Maui, Kauai and Honolulu are issuing their own emergency proclamations, following Big Island Mayor Harry Kim’s declaration on Friday.
“Our number one priority is the health and safety of our communities across the state. COVID-19 has prompted the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency of international concern,” Ige said in a news release. “This emergency proclamation will give us the ability to move more quickly and efficiently in our efforts to protect our communities from the virus and provide emergency relief if, and when it is necessary.”
The disaster emergency relief period starts immediately and runs through April 29.
Hawaii still has no confirmed coronavirus patients but officials monitoring case of recent cruise ship visit
The cruise ship that carried California’s first coronavirus fatality visited the four main Hawaiian islands last week.
Hawaii still has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, but state health officials are monitoring developments involving a cruise ship that stopped at four main Hawaiian isles with passengers who may have been previously exposed to the new illness, known as COVID-19.
At a news conference with Gov. David Ige today at the state Department of Health office, officials said two former passengers of a cruise ship that later docked in Hawaii during a subsequent cruise have tested positive for the new coronavirus.
The passengers, one who has since died, were on the Grand Princess cruise from San Francisco to Mexico from Feb. 11 to Feb. 21, which did not stop in Hawaii.
However, the same ship was later used for another cruise that docked on Kauai, Oahu, Maui and the Big Island from Feb. 26 to Feb. 29, and included 54 passengers who were also on the earlier cruise.
A crew member who fell ill on the Hawaii leg was admitted to Hilo Medical Center but tested negative Tuesday for COVID-19, health officials said today.
Another individual is sick and is being quarantined on the ship, which is now headed back to San Francisco, its port of origin. That individual will likely be tested upon arrival by San Francisco health authorities working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hawaii health officials said. They noted that other ill passengers on the cruise ship have tested positive for the flu, which has similar symptoms as COVID-19.
“At this time there’s no threat to anyone in Hawaii,” Health Director Bruce Anderson said at a news conference, though officials are awaiting the results of testing for the quarantined passenger on the ship that is scheduled to arrive in San Francisco Thursday.
“We are working with CDC in this situation as we would in any situation like this. They are actively pursuing this,” he said. “CDC has not identified any specific risk for Hawaii.”
Watch a video of the news conference below.