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United bans Hawaiian couple that flew despite positive COVID-19 test

United bans Hawaiian couple that flew despite positive COVID-19 test
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United Airlines has banned a couple from Hawaii after they flew on the airline despite testing positive for COVID-19, with the company saying it is investigating the incident.

The couple currently faces second-degree endangerment charges after they boarded a flight from San Francisco to Kauai over the weekend. They had tested positive for the virus during pre-travel screenings.

"We have banned these customers while we investigate this matter," United Airlines said in a statement to The Hill.

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“The health and safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority,” the company said. “Which is why we have various policies and procedures in place as part of a multi-layered approach to create a safer travel environment, including mandating that everyone onboard wears a mask."

The couple was ordered to isolate after testing positive for the virus at the airport, according to a police report obtained by USA TODAY. However, they defied the order and boarded the flight.

They were accompanied by a 4-year-old child, according to a news outlet.

After landing in Kauai, officers identified the couple and “escorted them to a designated isolation room for further processing and investigation,” a Kauai Police Department spokesperson told the outlet.

Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami confirmed the individuals were arrested and are facing charges, according to a local ABC affiliate.

NBC News reported that the couple posted bail, which was set at $1,000. The couple could face a $2,000 fine and up to a year in jail if convicted.

Under United Airlines’s guidelines, customers who test positive for COVID-19 cannot fly for at least 10 days after receiving their diagnosis. And even then, the company states that customers must have “two successive negative COVID-19 results that were administered at least 24 hours apart.”

There have been 18,186 cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawaii since the pandemic began, according to the state’s Department of Health. The state has reported 246 deaths.