A member of the Honolulu City Council support staff has tested positive for COVID-19, City Clerk Glen Takahashi said today.
Takahashi told legislative staff employees in an emails that he learned of the positive result earlier today. The employee has not been in the office for a week, is in isolation and “is reportedly doing fine,” he said.
That person, whom he declined to identify due to medical privacy issues, works in the Office of City Clerk’s Council Support Services Division on the second floor of Honolulu Hale, Takahashi told the Star-Advertiser. The employee is not with with the Elections Division, which has been in contact with the public increasingly as Saturday’s primary election draws near.
Council Support Services is housed on the second floor of Honolulu Hale, while Elections functions are on the ground level.
The clerk’s office falls under the jurisdiction of the City Council.
In response to the news, Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson set up an impromptu COVID-19 testing program at City Hall this afternoon available to all legislative branch employees.
Anderson said most Council staff have been working remotely although it’s up to each Council member, as well the heads of the City Clerk and Council Services divisions to decide who is essential and needs to work from the office.
Today’s testing, set up with Dr Scott Miscovich of Hawaii Premier Medical Group, will be able to accommodate up to 200 employees, Anderson said.
Last week, in response to the growing number of positive COVID-19 cases on the island, Anderson imposed a prohibition on public visitors, including administration representatives, to the Council’s common areas including staff offices, conference rooms and the third-floor Council chambers.
“We recognize this may impact members’ ability to host guests in their respective offices, but given the worrisome trend and potential exposure risks I believe these measures are necessary,” Anderson said.
Anderson said that prior to today’s announcement by Takahashi, he knew of no other members of the legislative staff to test positive for COVID-19.
“We need to ensure the safety of the public, those in the legislative branch and the members,” Anderson said.