On Hawaii Island recently, five positive cases of COVID-19 were reported among members of the production of “Love Island U.S.A.,” a CBS reality TV show currently filming in Hilo, according to state Film Commissioner Donne Dawson.
Dawson confirmed the case report Sunday after the news had been posted Saturday on social media.
The state Department of Health “has been notified, contact tracing has been done for all cases, and those in close contact are in quarantine and testing of those cases will continue,” Dawson told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser by phone.
“‘Love Island Season 3’ has gone beyond both the CDC and union ‘return to work’ COVID guidelines for production,” the show’s production company ITV Entertainment said in an emailed statement.
Precautions include “high-frequency testing (2-3 times per week), PPE for everyone not on camera, contact tracing and quarantine protocols,” the statement said, noting production has been in constant contact with state and local officials per their respective health guidelines.
“The health and safety of our cast and crew remains our number one priority,” ITV Entertainment said.
Due to pandemic procedures, the film industry “is probably the safest of any industry right now,” Dawson said, noting that since the industry reopened in Hawaii under rigorous health procedures late last summer, the state has “gone for months and months with zero to one or two isolated positive cases on any one of the productions statewide” and that productions are kept isolated from the community.
Responding to a query Sunday, state Health Department spokesman Brooks Baehr said he hadn’t heard of the “Love Island” cases, but noted the department doesn’t disclose the location of individual COVID-19 cases or clusters “unless there is an imminent health threat.”
Meanwhile, the state Department of Health reported 643 new confirmed and probable coronavirus infections Sunday, bringing the state’s total since the start of the pandemic to 46,503 cases.
No new virus-related fatalities were reported Sunday, so the statewide COVID-19 death toll remained 542.
Sunday’s case counts by island included 431 new cases on Oahu, 54 on Maui, 118 on Hawaii island, 22 on Kauai and 11 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state.
Total case counts now include probable infections, those of people who never received a confirmatory test but who have experienced exposure and symptoms or a positive antigen test.
The statistics released Sunday reflected the new infection cases reported to the department Friday.
Of the state’s total infection count, 5,508 cases were considered active, representing an increase of 358 cases, health officials said.
By island, Oahu has 3,746 active cases, the Big Island has 1,094, Maui has 540, Kauai has 119, Lanai has none and Molokai has nine.
The number of confirmed and probable coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 33,408 on Oahu, 5,547 on Maui, 4,813 in Hawaii County, 634 on Kauai, 117 on Lanai and 90 on Molokai. There are also 1,894 Hawaii residents who were diagnosed outside the state.
The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll includes 416 fatalities on Oahu, 62 on Maui, 59 on Hawaii island, two on Kauai and three Hawaii residents who died outside the state.
As of Sunday, U.S. infections totaled more than 35.7 million, and the nationwide coronavirus-related death toll was over 616,800.