HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s second case of the virus that causes COVID-19 was confirmed after a man who traveled to Washington state was tested after his return to Hawaii, officials said Sunday.

State Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson and State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said the infection of an elderly Hawaii resident was confirmed Sunday morning.

The man began showing symptoms while in Washington state earlier this month.

“This individual was ill before he left Washington state,” Anderson said.

Demonstration of preparing nucleic acid for Polymerase Chain Reaction machine that will be used in Coronavirus lab testing/detection.

Hawaii announced its second case of coronavirus on Sunday at a press conference.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The man, who was not identified, returned to Hawaii Wednesday and visited an urgent care facility, where he was tested for the virus after informing medical personnel he had been to Washington, Park said.

More than 60 people in Washington have tested positive for the virus.

The man returned home after his clinic visit and remained there until Saturday, when an ambulance was called because he had become seriously ill. The man is now in isolation in a Hawaii hospital, Park said.

Anderson said the man is in “serious condition” but did not offer additional details.

Democratic Gov. David Ige stressed that Hawaii’s two cases of the virus originated outside the state, including another man who traveled on the Grand Princess cruise ship in February and was confirmed to be infected with the virus Friday.

There have not been any reports of the virus originating from within the state, Ige said. “We have no evidence of community spread of the virus,” he said.

Anderson and Park said the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is heading the investigation into the new Hawaii case, including attempts to identify and assess people the man came into contact with during his return flight from Washington and after his arrival in Hawaii.

“We are still early in the investigation,” Park said.

Before you go . . .

For the past several months our nonprofit newsroom has worked beyond our normal capacity to provide accurate information, push for accountability, amplify smart ideas and new voices, and double down on facts and context to write deeply reported local stories.

The truth is, our evolution as a public service news organization over the past 10 years has prepared us for this moment in time, when what we do matters the most.

Reader support keeps our small newsroom afloat. If you value the work of our journalists, please consider making a tax-deductible gift.

About the Author