Wesley Moribe & Courtney Peterson Wailua, Hawaii couple who tested positive for coronavirus board United Airlines flight despite order to quarantine.
A Hawaiian couple that boarded a flight from San Francisco to Lihue, Hawaii after knowingly testing positive for COVID-19 has been arrested according to authorities.
The Kaua‘i Police Department in a release told of Wailua residents Wesley Moribe and Courtney Peterson being taken into custody Sunday for ‘placing the passengers of the flight in danger of death.’
According to a police report, Moribe, 41, and Peterson, 46, of Wailua were ordered by the Quarantine Station at the San Francisco International Airport to isolate after testing positive for the highly contagious coronavirus, SF Gate reports.
The couple, however, defied airport orders and boarded a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to the islands. Moribe and Peterson were accompanied by their 4-year-old child.
Once the couple arrived at the Lihue Airport, they were identified by officers that ‘escorted them to a designated isolation room for further processing and investigation,’ KPD Public Information Officer Coco Zickos said in a statement.
Moribe and Peterson were charged with reckless endangering. They both posted bail at $1,000 each.
Not immediately clear is how the couple were still able to make their way on board the plane despite testing positive for COVID-19 and what checks and balances were in place.
In a statement to USA TODAY, United Airlines representatives said they were ‘investigating this matter further to assess these passengers’ ability to fly on United in the future.’ The company statement added that the ‘health and safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority.’
The transgression follows Gov. David Ige approving the island of Kauai’s request for a temporary moratorium from the state’s pre-travel testing program, which means all visitors arriving on the island will have to quarantine for 14 days. The state’s testing program allows travelers who test negative for the novel coronavirus in advance of travel to bypass a 14-day quarantine.