Public Health notified of COVID positive case on Hawaii flight

Guam airport (PNC file photo)

The Department of Public Health and Social Services was notified Thursday evening of a positive case on a Hawaii flight.

DPHSS infectious disease control expert Chima Mbakwem confirmed with NewsTalk K57’s Patti Arroyo that they received the notice while the flight was en route to Guam.

“We got the notice 45 minutes before the plane landed. So we were able to act swiftly to get the situation under control. We were able to do that last night, get to the airport and put mitigation plans in place. We’re confident that we’ve been able to control the situation,” Mbakwem said.

Following protocol, close contacts to the confirmed case were identified.

They include passengers three rows in front of, behind, and side to side with the confirmed COVID positive case.

In total, Mbakwem said 26 individuals were identified as close contacts and quarantined.

The confirmed case is currently in isolation while the 26 close contacts are in quarantine.

DPHSS public information officer Janela Carrera told The Bright Side’s Pauly Suba that it was the Department of Defense that informed Public Health about the COVID-positive passenger who is a military dependent.

The passenger was tested for COVID-19 but only got the results mid-flight on a United Airlines flight to Guam.