Couple arrested for flying to Hawaii despite positive COVID-19 tests

Author: CBS Staff
Published: Updated:
Courtesy Wiki Commons / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

A couple was arrested at a Hawaii airport for traveling on a flight from California despite knowing they were infected with COVID-19, authorities said. Wesley Moribe, 41, and Courtney Peterson, 46, boarded a United Airlines flight to Lihue with a 4-year-old child after San Francisco International Airport officials told them Sunday to isolate themselves and avoid the flight, the Kauai Police Department said.

Police escorted the couple to a designated isolation room after the plane landed, where they were arrested on suspicion of second-degree reckless endangering.

The residents of Wailua on Kauai were released after posting $1,000 bail each.

The child was released into the care of a family member and the Child Protective Services division of the state Department of Human Services was notified.

Moribe and Peterson took COVID-19 detection tests before the flight as part of Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program, officials said.

They both tested positive for the virus and were taken to the San Francisco airport’s quarantine station and told not to fly.

“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.

Democratic Gov. David Ige last week approved Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami’s request to temporarily allow the island to opt out of the state testing program.

The policy scheduled to take effect Wednesday requires travelers to Kauai to spend 14 days in quarantine regardless of whether they obtain a negative COVID-19 test.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some – especially older adults and people with existing health problems – it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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