Kualoa Ranch tour guide diagnosed with coronavirus is ‘improving’

Kualoa Ranch employee becomes first confirmed community-transmitted COVID-19 case

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A tour guide at Kualoa Ranch who tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend is “improving," according to her doctor.

Dr. Scott Miscovich said the young woman had no history of out-of-state travel, and her diagnosis is evidence the virus spreading within the community.

The woman is from Windward Oahu and went to the doctor’s office after her asthma had gotten worse.

“She didn’t have a fever, but because of her high contact with tourism she met the updated guidelines and we felt it was crucial to test her," said Miscovich.

On Friday, Lt. Gov. Josh Green updated those testing guidelines.

Now, if you have symptoms and you work in the tourism or travel industry you can be tested. Health care workers also qualify.

Miscovich said, “We need to know if you’ve been in close contact with tourism and you develop even early symptoms, we need you to get checked.”

The Kualoa Ranch employee is recovering at home, but her doctor is keeping a close eye on her condition.

“This is an unknown disease,” said Miscovich.

“The fact that at this point she’s started to improve is very positive, as well as her age. But at this stage we’re going to watch her very closely. She will be contacted numerous times by my staff throughout the day.”

She lives in a multi-generational home in close proximity to about 25 people. The regional treatment center in Kaneohe stayed open until 11 p.m. Sunday to make sure every one of them got tested.

Miscovich says two kupuna and a baby in the house were showing symptoms.

In the meantime, the owner of Kualoa Ranch says the operation will be shut down for the next seven days.

“Our main concern is for our employees,” said CEO John Morgan.

“We probably can weather a downturn better than they can and so we definitely want to do everything we can to keep them employed. In the short term time period we’re paying full-pay for everybody who’s effected by this. And then we’re going to figure out how to keep everybody at work beyond that.”

Health care providers are coming to the ranch Tuesday to test employees on-site. The company is also working to contact visitors who had any contact with the patient.

“If we have their contact info we will let them know,” said Morgan.

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