Hawaii Department of Health reports first COVID-19 case in Kalawao County


File – The Hawaii State Judiciary announced on Thursday, Dec. 10 that an employee at the Keahuolu Courthouse tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

KALAWAO, Hawaii (KHON2) — The Hawai‘i Department of Health is reporting the first positive case of COVID-19 in an adult resident of Kalaupapa Settlement in Kalawao County on the island of Moloka‘i. Kalawao is a county within the State of Hawai‘i under the management of the DOH and was reported to be the last county within the U.S. with no reported positive COVID-19 cases prior to this announcement. 

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The individual received their positive test result after returning on a local flight to the Kalaupapa Settlement and is in self-isolation with no symptoms. The DOH immediately conducted contact tracing, and close contacts on the same flight are in self-quarantine. At this time, the individual and all recent close contacts are asymptomatic and being monitored for the development of any COVID-19 symptoms. 

“Everyone here recognizes the importance of the 14-day quarantine protocol to assist in protecting themselves, friends, family, and the broader Kalaupapa community,” said Ken Seamon, DOH administrator of Kalaupapa Settlement. “The affected individuals are being provided with necessary daily living support, guidance and any assistance required should COVID-19 symptoms develop.”

“The individual who tested positive did the right thing in notifying us of the positive test result,” added Seamon. “We believe we can contain the virus here without a stay-at-home order for the entire settlement.”

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