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State: Kupuna should prepare for self-isolation if coronavirus outbreak hits Hawaii

Updated: Mar. 6, 2020 at 6:58 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Seniors are particularly at risk when it comes to the coronavirus. That’s why Lt. Gov. Josh Green says he has already reached out to state agencies that deal with the elderly to determine safety measures.

“For instance, we might not want seniors going out as much if COVID-19 does spread in Hawaii," said Green, who is also a doctor.

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“We might want to do more home meals and home deliveries rather than being out at the mall, at the food court at restaurants for long periods of time.”

Nonprofits like Lanakila Pacific Meals on Wheels already deliver to home-bound residents and seniors and those kind of measures would limit exposure for one of the most vulnerable groups.

The death rate of coronavirus for those over 80 is almost 15%, according to the World Health Organization. Those 70 years and older have an 8% chance of death.

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Younger people are at significantly lower risk of developing severe symptoms.

There are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Hawaii, but Green recommends kupuna get additional medications and have a supply of food that can last up to 14 days.

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