Hawaii reports 1st death of person with positive virus test

HONOLULU (AP) — The state of Hawaii on Tuesday reported its first death of an individual who tested positive for the coronavirus.

The individual was an older male resident of Oahu, said Bruce Anderson, the director of the state Department of Health. He had been hospitalized recently with multiple medical issues but it’s not clear what his cause of death was. He did test positive for the disease and had been exposed to someone who had tested positive, Anderson said.

“I would like to express my deepest, heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the victims,” said Gov. David Ige. “This is a difficult time for everyone in Hawaii and I know you join me in mourning the passing of one of our neighbors to a virus that is threatening our community, other communities all around the world.”

Altogether 224 people in Hawaii have tested positive for the disease, including 20 new cases Tuesday. Thirteen people have required hospitalization.

Wyoming is now the only state in the nation that has not recorded a death from the disease.

Hawaii last week mistakenly reported an individual had died from COVID-19 but later retracted the information, saying the state laboratory had incorrectly recorded and reported test results.

Hawaii’s community sampling survey returned its first positive coronavirus test result, Anderson said. The survey randomly tests specimens from people who tested negative for the flu to examine whether they might have been infected by the coronavirus. The state has tested about 380 samples for this survey since March 1.

Anderson said the result confirms that there is limited, localized community spread of the virus on Oahu.

On Kauai, police said they arrested a 62-year-old Florida man who violated the state’s order that all travelers to Hawaii quarantine themselves for 14 days.

The Kauai Police Department said in a statement that the man arrived Monday and checked himself into a hotel in Kapaa but was stopped about 25 miles (40.2 kilometers) away in Hanalei on Tuesday. He was booked in the Kauai cell block on a misdemeanor and posted bail for $100.

The 14-day quarantine order for travelers took effect on Thursday.