DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
DAVID Y. IGE
BRUCE S. ANDERSON, Ph.D.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23rd, 2020
COVID-19 JOINT INFORMATION CENTER
DAILY MEDIA UPDATE
Honolulu and Maui Stay-at-Home Orders
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Maui Mayor Michael Victorino have issued stay-at-home, work-at-home orders for their islands. In the City and County of Honolulu the order takes effect today (March 23, 2020) at 4:30 p.m. and requires all residents to stay and work from home through Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. Certain essential activities associated with identified essential businesses and services are not covered by the Mayor’s order.
On Maui the Mayor’s order takes effect on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and continues until April 30, 2020.
Both orders are implemented to reduce the risk of spread of the COVID-19 virus and to protect the ability of public and private healthcare providers to handle the influx of new patients and to safeguard public health and safety. Many additional closures and restrictions are in place statewide and the Dept. of Health encourages all citizens to stay up-to-date and to practice social distancing protocols at all times.
Governor’s Order for Self-Quarantine of All Travelers to Hawai‘i
Effective, Thursday, March 26, 2020, Governor David Ige has ordered that all persons entering the State of Hawai‘i to self-quarantine for 14 days or for the duration of their stay in Hawai‘i, whichever is shorter. Upon arrival, residents are required to quarantine in a designated location in their residence. Visitors will quarantine in their hotel room, rented lodging or in a room if staying at a residence. Quarantined individuals may only leave their designated location for medical emergencies or to seek medical care. Failure to comply with all rules and protocols related to quarantines is punishable by fines of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.
FDA Guidance on Food Safety
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has provided guidance on food safety for the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently there is no evidence that the virus has spread from food or food packaging. The FDA is also aggressively monitoring the market for fraudulent COVID-19 testing kits. Complete information on food safety and approved testing can be found at: http://www.afdo.org
The DOH reminds people to be judicious when shopping for food and essential goods so that kūpuna and others in need are able to purchase necessary items.
Who should be tested?
Individuals who are not experiencing systems do not need to be tested. DOH strongly urges public health and healthcare professionals to prioritize testing among three specific groups:
Health care workers and first responders with COVID-19 symptoms.
Older Americans who have symptoms of COVID-19, especially those living in congregate settings.
Individuals who may have other illnesses that would be treated differently if they were infected with COVID-19 and therefore physician judgment is especially important for this population.
Other people with mild illness should help protect our most vulnerable and conserve our precious supplies by practicing social distancing measures, monitoring their illness, and calling their healthcare provider if their symptoms worsen or persist.
Guidance and guidelines for public health professionals and healthcare workers: www.cdc.gov/covid19
COVID-19 recommendations are changing the rules on how much physical distance individuals should keep from each other. Cancelling events that do not allow attendees to be at least six feet apart—the equivalent of two arms-length—and avoiding unnecessary physical meeting with others are proven strategies to mitigate the spread of the virus. The effectiveness of these initiatives largely depends on the cooperation and compliance from the public.
21 New Positive Cases on three islands
As of March 23, 2020, there is a total of 77 presumptive or positive COVID-19 cases in Hawai‘i. 61 of these cases involve Hawai‘i residents and the majority (49) are on O‘ahu. Travel or contact with a traveler is the risk factor in 47 cases, and only one case has no travel history. The cause of the virus in 29 cases is unknown. Please note, that as the number of cases rises daily it may take health professionals longer to investigate possible sources for individual cases.