Lt. Gov. says his COVID situation could have been prevented

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Lt. Gov. Josh Green is continuing to isolate at home after contracting COVID-19 last week.

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He said he is starting to feel some symptoms like fatigue and has developed a slight cough.

Two of the deputy sheriffs who traveled with him over the Labor Day weekend for work have also tested positive for the virus.

Green said the wife of one of his deputy sheriffs was not feeling well and went to a doctor on Sept. 1. Green said she was not tested for COVID-19.

“By not getting tested and just getting treated with antibiotics, it left a blind spot, which that blind spot is not something we should allow to happen,” he said.

Green said it is a good lesson because had she have been tested, the sheriff and his wife would have been isolated, and “none of this would have happened,” according to Green.

“If all across the state, we could test people and get the results within 48 hours and do it wildly over 10,000 tests a day. The example that affected me, your lieutenant governor and our office, and the hospital, and the radio station doesn’t happen, because that person then stays home with his spouse,” Green explained.

He said anyone who seeks medial care and has respiratory symptoms should be tested for COVID-19.

“I’m not criticizing the other health care providers. I’m just saying that anybody with upper respiratory symptoms right now should get a COVID test, period,” he said.

“I’m feeling fine. People shouldn’t worry too much, but it’s a cautionary tale,” Green said.

All of this is illustrative of what the good policy would be, get tested for everybody, get the results within two days, and then you know what to do, put it down,” explained Green. “I hope that my experience with COVID actually ends up informing the state, in our policy much better.”

Green said his chief of staff, his deputy chief of staff and his communications team have tested negative for the virus. The Department of Health said results are pending for others.

Green said the spread could have been worse, but he was wearing a mask when he worked at Kohala Hospital over the Labor Day weekend, and around his colleagues at the Capitol.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR GREEN TIMELINE OF COVID-19

  • Sept 1: The wife of one of LG’s deputy sheriffs feels ill, sees a doctor but is not tested for COVID-19.
  • Sept. 2: Per Kohala Hospital protocol, Green is tested 2 hours before his ER shift and tests negative for COVID. Both deputy sheriffs are not tested.
  • Sept. 5: Green and his two guards arrive around 7 a.m. on Hawaii Island, all three drivers were in the same vehicle for one hour to Kohala Hospital.  
  • Sept: 8: Green and the deputy sheriffs drive one hour back to the Hawaii Island airport and fly back to Honolulu. On this day, the sheriff whose wife was feeling ill starts to feel sick himself and gets tested for COVID.
  • Sept. 11: Green does a segment interview at a local radio show early in the morning. Shortly after, the sheriff’s test comes back positive for COVID. Green and his staff are tested immediately. At 5:30 p.m., Green receives word that his test is positive and he opts to walk home from the Capitol instead of having someone drive him home.

“We were in a car together for a little over an hour and one of our guys was coughing and that’s it. That’s how you catch it,” Green explained about how easily the virus can spread.

Green said his deputy sheriffs stayed at a retreat on Hawaii Island and no one else was at the retreat.

The radio host Esme Infante of KUMU, told KHON2 on Sept. 14 that she is feeling fine and is not showing any symptoms. She said she is self-quarantining for 14-days.

All staff at Kohala Hospital who came into contact with Green, including the 14 patients he came into contact with, were tested for COVID. Green said all test results have come back negative so far.

“I hope everyone learns from that. I hope all the health care providers out there, if there’s any symptoms at all in an individual, we test immediately and get that result back in two days,” Green said.

The governor’s office told KHON2 the entire fifth floor of the State Capitol was disinfected and deep cleaned on Saturday.

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