comscore Army in Hawaii now has 4 coronavirus cases | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Army in Hawaii now has 4 coronavirus cases

Today’s update

Four positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified within U.S. Army Hawaii, garrison commander Col. Tom Barrett said Saturday evening.

The two most recent cases are a civilian employee who works at Tripler Army Medical Center, and a civilian employee who works at Wheeler Army Airfield, he said.

“Upon returning from travel, both individuals developed symptoms and were subsequently tested,” Barrett said during one of the regularly-held Army Facebook video updates.

“Our intent is to continue to be as transparent as possible,” Barrett said. “With that in mind, we plan to provide the most current number of (COVID-19) cases during these community updates.”

Saturday update

A second Tripler Army Medical Center employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

Tripler health professionals were notified Friday that the employee had tested positive for the virus after visiting New York and returning to Oahu.

“The individual had initial symptoms of influenza after returning from New York, self-isolated at home and as symptoms continued, sought testing for COVID-19,” the news release said tonight.

The first civilian employee at Tripler became the first confirmed COVID-19 case within the Army community in Hawaii with a positive test result on Wednesday.

Both employees had visited New York prior to returning to Oahu.

Previous coverage

The U.S. military has recorded the first coronavirus case in its ranks in Hawaii, the Army said today.

“A 25th Infantry Division soldier stationed here tested positive for COVID-19,” Schofield Barracks said in a news release.

The soldier is in isolation at an off-base residence. The Army did not identify gender or age.

“The soldier traveled to Las Vegas on March 13 and returned to Oahu on March 15,” the 25th Division said.

Upon return, the soldier was placed into command-directed restriction of movement at his or her off-base residence and became symptomatic Wednesday night. The soldier was tested for COVID-19 on Thursday and determined to be positive on Friday.

Tripler Army Medical Center health professionals are actively conducting contact tracing, the Army said.

“The 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Hawaii have implemented all appropriate control measures to help control the spread of COVID-19, and military installations across Hawaii remain at health protection condition ‘Bravo’ as the risk level remains low,” according to the Army.

A civilian employee at Tripler became the first confirmed COVID-19 case within the Army community in Hawaii with a positive test result on Wednesday.

The employee had recently traveled to New York and started to develop symptoms after returning to Oahu, and took the precaution of self-isolating at home.

The individual then pursued testing through an urgent care facility after personal notification that a close contact during travel had tested positive for COVID-19.

“The employee is currently in self-isolation and will be monitored by medical personnel from the medical center,” the Army said at the time in a release.

Tripler and Army Public Health Nursing teams were working with the state of Hawaii’s Health Department and had begun contact tracing to determine whether any other individuals were exposed, according to the Army.

The Defense Department last week instituted travel restrictions for service members, civilians, and their families assigned to defense installations within the United States halting all domestic travel, including permanent changes of station, and temporary duty.

The measures, in place through at least May 11, included the requirement to “only take leave in the local area” — which most commands in Hawaii have deemed to be home-island only with no interisland travel.

According to a 2017 count by governing.com, Hawaii had about 36,600 active duty military members, 9,400 Reserve members and about 19,000 military civilians.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command recently raised the health protection condition to “Bravo” from “Alpha” reflecting increased community transmission of the coronavirus, but with the health of the military community still at moderate risk.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Comments (34)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Scroll Up