Delta, Hawaiian airlines work with officials to trace path of couple with coronavirus

Delta, Hawaiian airlines work with officials to trace path of couple with coronavirus
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Delta Air Lines and Hawaiian Airlines are working with federal and state officials to trace the path of a married couple that has tested positive for coronavirus after visiting Hawaii.

Hawaii state health officials said the couple was in the state from Jan. 28 to Feb. 7, and both were diagnosed after being hospitalized in Japan, USA Today reported

State officials initially announced the husband's diagnosis on Friday, saying he developed symptoms during the second leg of his trip on the island of Oahu, where he was from Feb. 3 to 7. The male patient had taken a flight on Hawaiian Airlines HA265 from Kahulu to Honolulu to get to the island.

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The couple both flew on Delta’s flight 611 from Honolulu to Nagoya, Japan. The man had worn a mask on his return flight, state officials said Friday.

Spokeswoman Janice Okubo told Hawaiian Public Radio that the wife had been hospitalized, and the Honolulu Star Advertiser and The New York Times have reported she was diagnosed with the virus Saturday.

State epidemiologist said officials think the husband was infected in Japan or on the flight to Hawaii, since he developed symptoms about five days after arriving to the state, according to USA Today.

A Delta Air Lines spokesperson told The Hill in a statement that the airline is “aware of reports that two customers who are being treated for novel coronavirus (2019-nCOV) recently traveled together between Honolulu and Nagoya” and is working with U.S. and Japanese officials.

“The health and safety of our customers and crews is our top priority, and in cooperation with Japanese health officials, we are proactively reaching out to customers who were onboard that flight as well as taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our customers and crew,” the spokesperson said. 

Hawaiian Airlines spokesperson Alex Da silva told The Hill in a statement that the airline is working with public health agencies to inform other passengers on the plane "as they deem necessary." 

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"We are also in contact with our crew and agents who operated the flight to make sure they are supported and healthy," the statement said.

Lauren George, the corporate communications director for Hilton Grand Vacations, said in a statement to The Hill that the company is prioritizing guest and team member safety. 

Following the stay of a guest who was later diagnosed with COVID-19, the Grand Waikikian has implemented all recommendations of public health authorities,” she said. “While the Grand Waikikian remains open as usual, we are also working with all current and future guests at the Grand Waikikian to ensure their comfort and safety.”

The coronavirus has infected more than 71,000 people globally and killed 1,775 people as of Monday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins. There are 15 cases in seven states in the U.S., but no confirmed cases in Hawaii.

—Updated at 3:58 p.m.