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Hawaii’s 10 confirmed coronavirus cases include health care worker at Kapiolani Medical Center

UPDATE 6:40 p.m.

A health care worker at Kapiolani Medical Center for Woman & Children is among the three newly confirmed coronavirus cases announced today.

The Oahu resident recently traveled with a partner to Las Vegas, an area now designated for community spread of COVID-19. State officials are still investigating dates of travel and onset of symptoms, said Health Director Bruce Anderson.

The health care facility is notifying patients and staff who came into contact with the worker, who is in self isolation at home. Family members have also been advised to self quarantine.

In addition, the Department of Health said the infected tour guide at Kualoa Ranch developed symptoms on March 9, was seen at an urgent care clinic on March 11, and then again on March 12 after her symptoms worsened. The young woman lives in a large extended family — all in home quarantine — and three other household members have reported symptoms. Their tests are pending.

The third new case is a visitor on Maui who arrived from the mainland on March 7, developed symptoms on March 9 and visited an urgent care center on March 11. The individual is traveling with a partner who has no symptoms. Both went sight-seeing until they were notified about the positive test result yesterday. They are isolating themselves in a hotel room, he said.

UPDATE: 4:15 p.m.

Three new cases of COVID-19 — two Oahu residents and a visitor on Maui — have been identified today, bringing the statewide number of confirmed cases to 10, the state Health Department announced this afternoon.

Health officials said they are monitoring all of the patients and supervising their isolation, along with self-quarantine for their family members.

They gave no immediate details on the three cases, but earlier today an Oahu case involving a Kualoa Ranch employee was revealed by a Windward Oahu doctor and by ranch officials.

Gov David Ige also gave no details of the Windward case, but confirmed that it is believed to be the first case of community spread known in Hawaii.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

A tour guide at Kualoa Ranch with no recent travel history has contracted the coronavirus in the state’s first confirmed case of community transmission.

Dr. Scott Miscovich told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the young woman came into his Windward Urgent Care clinic, a regional COVID-19 screening and treatment center, on Wednesday and received the positive results Sunday night. The case brings Hawaii’s coronavirus count to eight.

“We remained opened until almost 11 o’clock last night screening all of her immediate family and contacts,” he said. “At this stage, the key to preventing broad-spread COVID-19 transmission is to begin much more aggressive testing, which the private medical sector throughout the state has taken up the responsibility to do.”

By this morning, 25 members of her family and contacts have been screened, with results still pending, he said.

In a letter to employees today, John Morgan, president and CEO of Kualoa Ranch Hawaii, said the visitor attraction will be shut down for one week “while we assess the situation and consult with the medical professionals.”

The ranch was already closed today for repairs because of a “surprise flash flood” on Sunday that resulted in the cancellation of all afternoon tours, he said.

“We know this is going to cause hardship to many people, and have decided to provide full compensation during this period to all employees who are scheduled to work, but cannot due to the visitor operations shut down,” he said. “We are offering and encouraging all employees to get tested for COVID-19.”

Miscovich said he is working with Kualoa to test its employees and will be going to the ranch tomorrow at 8 a.m. to do broad screening and provide instruction on symptoms and staying calm.

The other seven previously confirmed COVID-19 patients in Hawaii have recently traveled to areas of outbreak.

“The number of cases that will be testing positive will rise significantly. The private health community has now come together and is prepared to handle this,” Miscovich said. “Just be vigilant. Protect our kupuna. Follow the guidelines that are being discussed across the world of social distancing … and try to avoid large groups of individuals together.”

The Department of Health hasn’t released any information on the case, and Gov. David Ige said at a news conference today that state officials have not had the opportunity to get all the information on the first case of community spread.

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