Health officials say residents should have emergency supplies on hand.
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) – The state is urging residents to take steps now to prepare for the potential spread of the coronavirus to Hawaii amid a stark warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the virus could cause a “significant disruption” to American life.
“It’s not so much a matter of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
“We cannot hermetically seal off the United States to a virus, and we need to be realistic about that.”
Although there are still no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Hawaii, the state Department of Health issued some guidance for what people can do to be ready, including by having a 14-day kit of emergency supplies at home.
“While there are no cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawaii at this time, state health officials do expect to eventually identify cases in Hawaii because this is a global health threat to our entire nation,” Health Department officials said, in a news release Tuesday.
“At this time, the imminent threat here in Hawaii is low.”
[Read more: US should expect coronavirus to spread, CDC says]