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A Guide for Hawaiʻi Island

click for downloadable .pdf  COVID-19 Informational Guide


The content of this informational pamplet is provided below.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH’S MESSAGE: The Hawai‘i State Department of Health, in partnership with the County of Hawai‘i, federal and other state agencies, is working to take the necessary precautions to prevent and respond to the 2019 novel coronavirus. If the 2019 novel coronavirus is identified in Hawai‘i, coordinated actions to prevent the spread of the virus will be taken. Becoming informed and taking personal responsibility is our best preventive action. We urge everyone to learn about the 2019 novel coronavirus and to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and family members. Bruce S. Anderson, PhD. Director of Health,  Hawai‘i State Department of Health

The County of Hawai‘i is working with state and federal partners to keep you informed and to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that originated in China. As part of the effort to ensure timely and credible  information, County Civil Defense is issuing daily bulletins notifying the public of any updates. The purpose of this handout is to provide reliable information on:

  • What you need to know about the COVID-19

  • Health advisories and actions taken by government to contain the COVID-19

  • What you can do to keep yourself safe

  • How to keep updated on issues that may affect you and your ‘Ohana.



What is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Public health officials are working to contain a new type of coronavirus, referred to as COVID-19. This virus is believed to have originated in animals and then spread to humans. It is now being transmitted from person to person.

This virus is a public health concern because it is new and knowledge is limited. The virus was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Cases have been identified internationally, including some cases in the United States. Efforts are being made by governments to prevent its spread.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Mild to severe respiratory illness
  • Cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
    • Some patients may not report fever, especially the very young, elderly, those not able to fight infections, and those taking fever-lowering medications.

How does COVID-19 spread?

  • Through coughing and sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the   virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
  • Because the COVID-19 is new, we are learning more each day about the transmission patterns and incubation periods

Health officials are still learning about this new virus and how it spreads, but best evidence suggests it is spread when a person coughs or sneezes, or from close contact with a sick person. Once infected, symptoms may not appear for 2 to 14 days. The virus is also believed to survive a numerous on surfaces. 

Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

Because this is a new virus, there is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19; however, efforts are underway to develop a vaccine as soon as possible.

What should you do to protect yourself?

  • Follow the same measures to prevent flu in daily life or while traveling:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If no soap and water is available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Get the flu shot to reduce the chances of getting symptoms similar to this virus. 
    • Wearing a mask does not prevent a person from inhaling smaller airborne particles, so masks for the general public may not be effective to prevent infection.


  • Travelers from China entering Hawaii on or after February 3, 2020, including children, students, and workers, should stay home from school, work, and public gatherings and monitor their health for 14 days after leaving China:

    • During this time, you should stay home and avoid group settings, including work and school.
    • Have another family member/friend, who didn’t travel from China, run necessary errands for you, such as picking up food or medicine.
    • Avoid using public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares.
    • Watch your health, and if you have a thermometer, take your temperature 2 times a day.
    • If you feel sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or difficulty breathing, you should:
    • Stay home and avoid contact with others except for seeking medical care.
    • Call the Hawai‘i Department of Health (at (808) 586-4586) for advice before seeking care. If you can’t reach the Hawai‘i Department of Health, call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them your symptoms and that you were in China.


What is government doing to protect our community?

  • Hawai‘i Departments of Health and Transportation officials are working closely with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor and screen inbound passengers at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport for any individuals that may have been affected by the virus. Direct flights between Hawai‘i and China are suspended.
  • The Department of Health is working with healthcare facilities to ensure hospitals and healthcare providers are up to date on infection control in the event they come across a person potentially infected with COVID-19
  • A Presidential proclamation that took effect Feb. 2, 2020, temporarily restricts foreign nationals, other than permanent U.S. residents and the immediate family of U.S. citizens and residents, from entering the United States if they have been in China within 14 days. Passengers who have been in Hubei province within 14 days of their return to the United States are subject to quarantine.

Is my pet at risk of getting Coronavirus?

Although COVID-19 seems to have come from an animal source, it is now spreading from person to person. There is no reason to believe animals or pets in Hawai‘i or elsewhere in the U.S. might be spreading the virus. 

If you think you may have been infected with the COVID-19, call your physician. 

The Hawai‘i Department of Health is monitoring the situation carefully and is continually updating this guidance to communicate any changes as they develop. 

Listen to Civil Defense announcements for updates.



Additional Resources

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Hawaii Department of Health 

Hawaii Department of Transportation

Call Aloha United Way at 211 for more information and referrals.