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Kauai couple with COVID-19 charged with reckless endangering for allegedly boarded a flight

  • COURTESY KAUAI POLICE DEPARTMENT
                                Wesley Moribe, 41, and Courtney Peterson, 46, are accused of boarding a flight to Hawaii from San Francisco despite knowing they tested positive for COVID-19.

    COURTESY KAUAI POLICE DEPARTMENT

    Wesley Moribe, 41, and Courtney Peterson, 46, are accused of boarding a flight to Hawaii from San Francisco despite knowing they tested positive for COVID-19.

A Kauai couple accused of boarding a flight to Hawaii from San Francisco despite knowing they tested positive for COVID-19 is scheduled to appear in court for reckless- endangering charges.

Wesley Moribe, 41, and Courtney Peterson, 46, are scheduled to appear at Kauai District Court in January for their arraignment after police charged them with second-degree reckless endangering, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail or up to a $2,000 fine, or both.

Moribe and Peterson remain free after each posted $1,000 bail.

The couple could not be reached for comment.

Police said the couple, of Wailua, took COVID-19 detection tests before their flight as part of Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program.

Authorities at San Francisco International Airport took the couple to quarantine and told them not to fly after both tested positive for the novel corona­virus.

The couple instead ignored the order and boarded a United Airlines flight with their 4-year-old son, authorities added.

On Sunday, Kauai police working at the Lihue Airport checkpoint were alerted that a couple who tested positive for COVID-19 was en route to the island.

Upon their arrival, police escorted Moribe and Peterson to a designated isolation room and arrested them.

Kauai police spokeswoman Coco Zickos said they knowingly boarded a flight aware of their positive COVID-19 test results, placing the passengers of the flight in danger.

The child was released into the care of a family member.

Kauai Police Chief Todd Raybuck said, “The Kauai Police Department, working alongside our county and state partners, remain diligent in protecting the health and safety of our island.”

He urged visitors and residents alike to adhere to emergency rules and to take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

United Airlines has since banned the couple from its flights as they conduct an investigation.

“Prior to traveling, all United customers are required to complete a ‘Ready to Fly’ checklist acknowledging they have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days,” the airline said in a statement.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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