HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Department of Health cleared Lieutenant Governor Dr. Josh Green from being an active case on Saturday, Sept. 19, eight days after he tested positive for the virus.
Lt. Gov. Green said he’ll continue to isolate at his home and stay away from his family until he completes his two-week isolation.
“If you have been asymptomatic with no fever for 48 hours or even 24 hours, 10 days after your first symptoms, you get released,” explained Lt. Gov. Green. “That’s the CDC standard, so I was released.”
Lt. Gov. Green believes he caught the virus on Saturday, Sept. 5, while driving in a car with one of his deputy sheriffs on Hawaii Island, whom at the time was unaware had COVID-19.
He said he started to feel overly fatigued on Sept. 9, just one day after the deputy sheriff took a COVID-19 test after returning from Hawaii Island.
On Friday, Sept. 11, the deputy sheriff’s test result came back positive for COVID-19. Lt. Gov. Green and his staff were immediately tested and by late evening, Lt. Gov. Green’s test result came back positive for the virus. He walked home and immediately isolated himself.
A few days after testing positive, Lt. Gov. Green said he stated feeling more fatigued and developed a cough a few days later. He said he last felt symptoms on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
“One of my staff members is still sick,” Lt. Gov. Green said. “And even though my family tested negative, you always worry about them. And I’ll feel good when it’s been a full two weeks that they don’t have any symptoms.”
On Friday, Lt. Gov. Green will finish his two-week isolation. He said that the people who come into close contact with someone who tested positive should spend the full two-week isolating.
“Each one could be infectious for a period of time, so I don’t want people to be confused about it,” he explained. “In our case, we did it straight by the playbook, the moment anyone had a close contact, we isolated them, and they got a test, and that kept spread to nothing.”
He said contact tracing and testing is vital to help stop spread of COVID-19.
Lt. Gov. Green said he never developed a fever and had his family tested five days after his positive result for an accurate test.
KHON2 asked how that would impact the pre-travel testing program which requires anyone coming into Hawaii to test negative 72 hours before their flight.
“It’s probably about one out of 1000 chance that someone who still travels had a test and it was a false negative, or they caught it in the window,” Lt. Gov. Green explained. “And if they’re asymptomatic, you’re very low risk. It’s not nothing, but it’s low, and if you wear a mask, which I would recommend to people on the plane, again, it’s going to even further lower your risk, you’re talking about very low risk.”