New coronavirus cases to the state include lawmaker, actor and medical center employee


HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Heath Department said all of the coronavirus (COVID-19) cases here in Hawaii are travel related. There are 10 news cases, including a local lawmaker, health worker and a Hollywood actor. They are all adults.

Senate offices were urged to shut down Thursday after Hawaii State Senator Clarence Nishihara found out Thursday morning, he was positive for the virus.

“I was under the impression I didn’t have anything… no inclination that I was testing positive,” said Sen. Clarence Nishihara.

Nishihara said he went to an urgent care facility to get tested last Thursday after struggling with cold symptoms since late February, when he returned to Hawaii from Las Vegas. He noted he had a fever prior to traveling, but recovered.

“I still had my cold but I didn’t have a fever or any kind of stuff… I was told at the time I got testing that it looked like I was okay,” said Nishihara. “So I figured okay, they didn’t think I had it, so… I went back to work.”

Now the people Nishihara had close contact with are being tested. He remains in isolation at home.

“I feel like I have a mild cold. I don’t feel anything else. I never had a headache. I never did have one and the fever never came back. I don’t have a cough. I have some congestion,” said Nishihara.

In an interview posted on Facebook, Nishihara said COVID-19 testing is by doctor’s approval, so he wasn’t able to get tested right away, but he’s encouraging others to fight for testing.

“If you feel like you should get tested and the availability of the tests are available then you should get tested,” said Nishihara.

KHON2 also learned actor Daniel Dae Kim is isolated in his Hawaii home after testing positive.

He recently returned to the islands from New York, one of the places where the virus is more widespread. During his flight, he began to feel ill.

“For the past several weeks I’ve been in New York shooting a role in a T.V. series…,” said Kim. “That show, like eventually, all the others stopped production, and when it did the first thing I wanted to do is go back to Hawaii and to my family.”

“I was asymptomatic during this time. As the flight was close to landing, I started noticing some scratchiness in my throat, which is unlike how I usually get sick,” said Kim.

Another person flying from New York, this time a Tripler Army Medical Center employee, also tested positive for the virus. This person began to develop symptoms after returning to Oahu, and took the precaution of self-isolating at home. He went to get tested after getting notified that someone he had close contact with had tested positive by the virus.

This is the first confirmed COVID-19 case within the Army community in Hawaii. Tripler said it’s working to see if any other individuals may have been exposed and will notify those people.

On Maui, two Maui residents tested positive after returning from a trip to Europe together. Officials tell KHON2 those people self isolated immediately upon returning home and are being monitored by the Hawaii State Department of Health.

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