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Nearly 25% in Hawaii fear having COVID-19 symptoms, survey shows

Nearly a quarter of Hawaii residents surveyed as part of a new COVID-19 tracking effort reported they had symptoms that could be the result of having the new coronavirus, according to data released today by the Pacific Urban Resilience Lab.

Pacific Urban Resilience Lab works to develop “new technologies and applications related to disaster risk reduction in urban area of Hawaii and the Pacific region.” The results of their new COVID-19 study came from a survey of self-reported behaviors by approximately 11,000 Hawaii residents who participated in an electronic survey during the last week of March 202.

The survey asked respondents, “Do you live in the same household as someone who is exhibiting symptoms or is confirmed to have COVID-19;” and “Have you or members of your household returned from a trip within the last 14 days.” It also asked questions about travel exposure, quarantines, and about shelter and mode of transportation.

“We have received an overwhelming response from the Hawaii community – more than 11,000 surveys were completed in just five days — to support our efforts to track the spread of COVID-19 throughout our state,” says Karl Kim, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at University of Hawaii in a statement. “We are grateful for the aloha spirit of the people who responded. These results are a source of optimism and caution. There are many serious ‘distancers’ but there are also potential ‘spreaders’ who continue to go to work or to gatherings with family and friends.”

Other key survey takeaways:

>> Only 2% of the respondents report being in households with symptoms or confirmed cases of COVID-19;

>> 3% report continuing to attend to gatherings with family and friends – even after the Hawaii stay at home order went into effect on March 25;

>> Grocery/drug store trips (31%) was the most common reason respondents left their home;

>> 3% of survey participants (366) report returning from a trip within the last 14 days;

>> 17% report household members over the age of 65;

>> 25% of respondents report having a chronic medical condition.

Results are preliminary and should not be interpreted as representative across Hawaii households. However, Kim said the lab is “continually working to improve the representatives of our sampling, and will be building more advanced geospatial and temporal models to better isolate the sick, infected, spreaders and distancers.”

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Visit hawaiifightscovid.org for more information or to take a confidential survey. Survey updates will be posted at hawaiidata.org/covid19.

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