DOH: Clusters at Hawaiian Airlines, local gyms involve same patient

DOH: Clusters at Hawaiian Airlines, local gyms involve same patient
File photo of health care workers collecting coronavirus tests at a drive-thru site. (Source: Annie Mulligan, The Texas Tribune)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - At least 44 cases of coronavirus that have been confirmed in Hawaii over the last several weeks can potentially be traced back to a single individual, the state health director said Monday.

The cases were spread out over three separate clusters ― one amongst employees who participated in a Hawaiian Airlines training program last month, and two involving exercise facilities around Oahu.

“In this case, it was a gymnasium. (An) individual did attend two different gym classes in two different gyms, and now we have 20 cases associated with that,” said Dr. Bruce Anderson. “That individual also happened to be associated with the Hawaiian Airlines training program, so there is a relationship between the two.”

Anderson says the Hawaiian Airlines cluster now stands at 24 total cases ― 16 staff members and eight other close contacts, many of them family members, according to the Department of Health.

At least 60 people involved in the training program were asked to self-isolate, according to a Hawaiian Airlines spokesperson.

The rapid spread of coronavirus amongst participants in several indoor events underscores how problematic it is for large groups of people to be in closed environments, Anderson said.

“This is a classic situation which emphasized the importance of treating yourself and everyone else around you as if they were infected,” Dr. Anderson said.

Twenty-three new confirmed cases of coronavirus were reported in Hawaii on Monday, when the health department also listed three new COVID-related deaths across the state.

More than 200 cases have been reported in Hawaii over the last seven days, bringing the state’s total to 1,243 since the start of the pandemic.

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