Lt. Gov. Josh Green — who has helped lead the state’s fight against COVID-19 — tested positive for coronavirus Friday night, he confirmed to Hawaii News Now.
The news comes following revelations that a deputy sheriff assigned to Green’s protective unit also tested positive for COVID-19. The Public Safety Department said the deputy last worked on Tuesday.
After receiving the positive results, Green said he would quarantine in his downtown Honolulu condominium separate from his family. Green’s 14 other staffers are also self-isolating and seeking testing.
In an interview Friday night, Green urged residents to take the virus seriously.
“Just please everybody be thoughtful about who you’re around and how quickly you can spread disease. I’m 50 years old and pretty strong and healthy, but it’s a worry. The mortality rate is 1%.
“That means it’s very real. It’s much higher for our kupuna. I’m thanking God I wasn’t with my aunties or my mom or my dad these last few days. Wear a mask and take this seriously,” Green told HNN.
He added that his “best guess” is he caught it from the member of his security detail, whose wife also tested positive. He said he “might not have been tested had I not found out they tested positive.”
Green added that he currently feels fine, but is monitoring his symptoms.
In addition to Green’s 14 staffers, five Honolulu radio station employees he was in contact with Friday morning and people he interacted with during his hospital shift at Kohala Hospital over the weekend have been notified and will be quarantined and tested. He said he has had no close contact with the governor or with other administration officials and did not believe they would need to be tested.
Green’s office announced he was being tested earlier Friday along with his staff members. As an emergency room doctor, Green said he has previously been tested for COVID-19.
But he is by far the highest-ranking official in Hawaii to test positive for the virus.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell had a COVID-19 scare last month after a member of his office tested positive. But Caldwell said he hadn’t had much contact with the person and the mayor subsequently tested negative.
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