Florida Man Breaks Quarantine Order to Travel Around Hawaii, is Arrested by Police

A 62-year-old Florida man is facing a fine and possible jail time in Hawaii after being arrested this week for allegedly violating a COVID-19 quarantine order, police say.

Dwight Anthony Tucker, of Tampa, was detained by officers from the Kauai Police Department on Tuesday after traveling to the island the day prior and checking in a hotel in Kapaa. He was stopped by authorities at about noon after making his way to the coastal town of Hanalei, WTSP reported.

Under rules designed to limit the spread of COVID-19, there is currently a 14-day mandatory self-quarantine order in place for all incoming visitors that asks them to stay indoors.

Tucker was booked for a misdemeanor and posted $100 bail. A court date has been set for May 27 and police said he could face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

Officials said the man did not appear to have symptoms of the novel coronavirus that is currently spreading across the world. There have been at least 258 cases in Hawaii.

A preliminary investigation indicated that before arriving on the island, Tucker stopped in Georgia, where he got a flight to Washington and then jumped on a direct flight to Līhu'e, the Kauai Police Department said in a release posted to social media that also included the suspect's mugshot.

Authorities said employees of the hotel where the suspect was checked in advised him of the 14-day quarantine and then notified the authorities after he left the accommodation.

Police have issued seven misdemeanor citations related to the statewide travel limitations so far, with each carrying the same potential sentence of up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Six were linked to curfew violations and one was a person who allegedly violated the stay at home order by continuing to travel to a non-essential cosmetic business that was still in operation.

"The public has been compliant for the most part regarding the curfew law, which we are grateful for. We have issued numerous warnings for the stay-at-home order but most people have been understanding and responsive," police captain Rod Green said in a statement.

"We all need to have self-discipline right now and ask ourselves if we really need to be outside. Unfortunately, some people won't take this seriously until it affects them directly.

"I hope they can take a look at what's occurring around the world to understand the seriousness of this issue and to consider the health and safety of our community before it's too late."

Hawaii Governor David Y. Ige is urging all citizens to maintain strict social distancing measures. "These actions are extreme, but they will help flatten the curve and lay the groundwork for a quicker recovery," he said. "We need to come together as a community to fight this virus."

There are now more than 216,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Globally, there have been at least 937,000 positive infections and 47,000 deaths. It is believed that at least 194,000 people total have recovered from the respiratory illness.

Dwight Anthony Tucker
The Kauai Police Department arrested 62-year-old Dwight Anthony Tucker of Tampa, Florida, on Tuesday for allegedly violating the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine order. Kauai Police Department/Facebook

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks.
  • Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • COVID-19 can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.