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Hawaii’s lieutenant governor develops COVID-19 symptoms but is still working

                                Lt. Gov. Josh Green is self-isolating at home after testing positive for the coronavirus.


    Lt. Gov. Josh Green is self-isolating at home after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green has developed symptoms of the new coronavirus but is continuing to lead the state’s response to stop the spread of COVID-19.

His symptoms — fever, cold sweats, coughing and fatigue — has so far not stopped him from working from home and deliberating tough decisions on how the state will move forward from both a health and economic crisis.

“I’m not that bad. I’m fatigued but I’m not dead,” he told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, adding that he still has about five to six meetings a day and is working on parts of the state’s reopening plan. “When you’re on the younger side (50 years old), you tend to have less problems with COVID. It feels like it often feels when you get a serious virus: Your stomach gets upset, you get fatigued and get a little fever.”

Green’s wife and two children have all tested negative, as has everyone he came into close contact with last week while working in the emergency room at Kohala Hospital. Both of his security guards have contracted the virus, but the rest of his 14-member staff is so far negative.

“This thing is no joke. It can make you feel quite ill. Please be very careful,” Green said on Instagram. “Get tested if you have symptoms, otherwise stay home. We’re gonna get through this.”

In his daily social media update, Green said the state has turned the corner from the weeks-long, triple-digit surge in August and early September.

“We can see that we have 6,859 active cases — that’s down about a hundred,” he said. “The hundredth fatality occurred, but the curve has been good.”

Health officials reported one new coronavirus death on Oahu and 66 new infections statewide, bringing the state’s totals since the beginning of the pandemic to 100 fatalities and 10,844 COVID-19 cases. There were 1,101 new tests in the tally, representing a 6% positivity rate.

However, 25 deaths associated with positive coronavirus test results are still awaiting receipt of records, including 10 deaths that are pending final Medical Examiner reports.

The Department of Health has yet to count the latest reported coronavirus death toll on the Big Island at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, where 14 residents died following an outbreak. The 14th death was reported Tuesday.

There are 6,859 active infections statewide and 3,885 patients now classified as released from isolation, or about 36% of those infected.

Of the 263,008 coronavirus tests conducted since the start of the Hawaii outbreak, 4.1% have been positive.

The U.S. death toll has surpassed more than 195,000.

Oahu’s stay-at-home, work-from-home order was extended last week through Sept. 23, though Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell opened parks, beaches and hiking trails for solo activities and said the city plans to allow gatherings of five when the order is lifted next week.

On Monday’s “Spotlight Hawaii,” the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook Live show, Gov. David Ige said he expects to again delay the reopening of Hawaii tourism beyond the proposed Oct. 1 start date. He is expected to announce a new schedule for reopening the state’s top industry in the next few days.

The lieutenant governor declined to comment on Ige’s decision but said he would be weighing in on the plan.

“There will be a lot of important updates in the coming days, which are good for Hawaii. Stay tuned.”

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