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Hawaii couple arrested after getting on a plane knowing they were COVID positive

The state says about 100,000 people have arrived at Hawaii's airports in the past week.
The state says about 100,000 people have arrived at Hawaii's airports in the past week.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 9:20 PM EST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Kauai couple was arrested over the weekend after they got on a plane for the island knowing they were positive for COVID-19, authorities said.

Kauai police said the two were arrested for second-degree reckless endangering.

Officials said the two participated in the state’s pre-travel testing program, getting a COVID-19 test before flight. They both tested positive and were taken to the quarantine station at San Francisco International, where they were instructed not to board their plane to Hawaii.

However, they decided to get on a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Lihue anyway.

In a statement, Kauai police said the two were stopped after arriving in Lihue and arrested.

“They knowingly boarded a flight aware of their positive COVID-19 test results, placing the passengers of the flight in danger of death,” Kauai police said.

The two were released after posting bail of $1,000 each.

They were traveling with a 4-year-old, who was released into the care of a family member.

Kawakami briefly addressed the arrests in a video on Facebook over the weekend.

“We have seen an unprecedented surge in new infections on our island, most of them associated with travelers ― both visitors and residents,” Kawakami said.

Over the weekend, the island said four new cases ― including the two residents who tested positive before their flight. There was also one additional resident and a visitor who tested positive after arrival.

The episode comes as Kauai stages a temporary opt-out of the pre-travel testing program.

Starting Wednesday, all incoming travelers to the island ― including inter-island passengers ― must quarantine for 14 days. The decision has drawn concern from businesses that rely on tourism dollars.

Copyright 2020 Gray Media Group, Inc. via Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.