UPDATE 2:30 P.M.: 2 new Maui cases are residents who returned from Europe

Registrar Casi Moreno and Jerry Grey (in the background), Critical Department lead, assist with flu and COVID-19 specimen sampling at Maui Medical Group on Monday morning. The clinic set up a separate sampling area away from the main clinic lobby in Wailuku. The Maui News / MELISSA TANJI photos

Two Maui residents who traveled back from Europe together were among the 10 new cases reported in Hawaii on Thursday, according to county and state officials.

The two adult individuals self isolated immediately upon their return home and are being monitored by the state Department of Health, county spokesman Chris Sugidono said.

The 10 new cases were the largest single-day number announced since the first case was identified March 6 in an Oahu resident who traveled aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship. The other eight cases announced Thursday were on Oahu.

State health officials said all of the cases were related to travel but that they had just received the results and did not have additional information. Some were residents, others were visitors, and at least one family was among the 10 cases.

“We will provide the information when we have it, and we are just as anxious as all of you,” state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said during a media telebriefing on Thursday afternoon.

The latest cases bring the total number to 26 in the state, including high-profile figures like Oahu Sen. Clarence Nishihara and former Hawaii Five-O actor Daniel Dae Kim, who announced on Instagram from his Hawaii home that he had tested positive after traveling back from New York.

“All cases as far as we know have a travel history or are individuals who were exposed to someone who was traveling,” said state Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson. “We believe at this time there is no evidence of extensive community transmission in the state of Hawaii.”

Anderson added that the state lab has now tested 40 seriously ill individuals, as well as 124 individuals who had respiratory illness but did not have the flu, as part of a sentinel surveillance program to find out how widespread the virus may be in the community. None of those 124 tested positive. Private labs are also conducting testing, and Anderson said the state has more than 1,000 reports from these labs. Most are negative, but some of the most recent positive reports have come from private labs.


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