Note to readers: In these extraordinary times, people are reaching out to Kokua Line more than ever. So that we can answer as many questions as possible, please submit your question by only one method: email, phone, U.S. mail or fax. By whatever method, be sure to include your contact information so that we can follow up as necessary. — Mahalo, Christine
Question: Anyone arriving in Hawaii as of Thursday must “self-quarantine” for 14 days, per Gov. David Ige’s order. If this is a person coming home to Hawaii, what about the people they live with? Do they have to self-quarantine, also?
Answer: No, not if the arriving person is healthy. However, if the arriving person shows symptoms associated with COVID-19, their whole household would have to self-quarantine, according to the state Department of Health.
It spells out instructions for self-quarantine at bit.ly/selfquar. Here is a summary, as numerous readers have asked about various elements:
Being told to self-quarantine for 14 days means that the person must stay in their home or visitor lodging to prevent the possible spread of the new coronavirus. As you noted, this applies to people who arrived from outside Hawaii starting Thursday, regardless of whether they are tourists or returning residents. There are some exceptions, for flight crews, emergency workers and others. Overall, air traffic to Hawaii is down drastically.
The DOH explains that people in self-quarantine should not go to any public place, including work, school, shopping centers, child care or local attractions. They shouldn’t use shared facilities such as swimming pools or spas, but if they have a private lanai or yard, they can safely enjoy those outdoor spaces.
They shouldn’t allow visitors to their home or lodging; only people who usually live there should be allowed in.
Visitors should have food and other necessities delivered, placed outside their doors. Residents who need supplies may rely on outside delivery or on the kindness of their housemates. Household members should take precautions to avoid potential infection.
As to your specific question, the DOH says, “If you are well, others who live with you do not need to self-quarantine unless they also arrived in the state of Hawaii (as of) March 26. However, if you develop symptoms and are suspected to have COVID-19, they will be considered close contacts and will need to be quarantined.”
People in self-quarantine should monitor themselves for symptoms including fever, cough or shortness of breath, and call a health care provider if they develop symptoms. They may leave the premises for medical treatment.
In a medical emergency they should call 911 and alert the dispatcher of their travel history. Call 911 only in emergencies.
People from out of state who want to “return directly home” before the 14-day period ends may do so, according to the DOH.
Q: With this coronavirus, is anybody even filling out the census?
A: Yes, responses are coming in, mainly online, but response rates are lower than would be expected under normal conditions, according to statistics posted at 2020census.gov.
As of Thursday, 23.8% of Hawaii residents had responded to the 2020 census, lower than the overall 28.1% response rate nationwide. The vast majority of responses were submitted online, nationally and in Hawaii.
Numerous readers have called saying they’ve received multiple census notices by mail at their homes and don’t know which response code to plug in online. We’ve asked the U.S. Census Bureau for clarification but have not yet heard back.
Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email email@example.com.