Transportation officials: Coronavirus scare at Honolulu’s airport was false alarm

Updated: Feb. 25, 2020 at 5:10 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A coronavirus scare at Honolulu’s airport Tuesday shows the state has the right procedures in place to monitor passengers who exhibit symptoms, the state said.

The scare all stemmed from a passenger believed to be sick with a fever.

But it was a false alarm. Medical officials later determined she was not severely ill.

The passenger was on a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Las Vegas that landed in Honolulu about 1 p.m.

The state Department of Transportation said the passenger complained to flight crew that she wasn’t feeling well and said she seemed to have a fever.

She also reported that she’d recently traveled to China.

The flight crew immediately notified state and federal authorities. Upon arrival, no one was allowed to deplane until after CDC personnel removed the passenger for a thorough medical evaluation.

“It did turn out that the temperature was taken and she was perfectly fine, well in the normal ranges," said DOT spokesman Tim Sakahara.

"It was also determined that her travel to China was well over a month ago. Those things combined fell outside of the current criteria that would make it necessary for additional screening.”

Passenger Hastings Yee Hoy, Jr. said responding personnel got on the plane wearing respirators.

“I’m sure a lot of people are preparing for this virus that’s going around," he said.

He said passengers were not told what kind of medical emergency they were dealing with, but rumors quickly started spreading it was a possible case of coronavirus.

Sakahara said all procedures were followed exactly by the book and this false alarm highlights the fact that state and federal authorities are ready and capable of responding appropriately.

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