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For Immediate Release
August 3, 2020

A Second Board of Water Supply Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

The Board of Water Supply (BWS) was informed today that a second employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

“We immediately implemented our response protocol which includes, taking precautionary measures, gathering all pertinent information, and consulting with the City's Health Services Division to ensure the safety of our employees and the community,” BWS Manager Ernest Lau said. “It has been two days since the individual was last in contact with staff or customers in our workplace. The affected employee is under the care of a physician and we wish them a safe and speedy recovery.” 

Any BWS employee who may have been in close contact with the affected individual has been notified directly and privately. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close contact means being within approximately six feet of a person with a symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case for longer than 15 minutes without facial coverings. 

Per the Mayor’s and Governor’s Emergency Orders, all BWS employees wear masks while moving about the facilities and, when interacting with other employees, they practice social distancing and utilize the sanitation stations.

Other information:

  • Are any other employees being tested? We have not directed any employees to get tested. ​The decision to test is solely upon the recommendation of the staff member's personal physician and/or the State Department of Health (DOH).
  • Is there mass testing among BWS being discussed?
    No. Testing is up to each employee and their personal physician and/or DOH.
  • Are any employees being isolated or told to stay home and quarantined -- if so, how many?
    No. The order to isolate or quarantine an individual is a decision made by the staff member's personal physician and/or DOH.
  • Also is the employee who tested positive at home now quarantined? 
    We cannot comment on the individual circumstances of the employee involved. However, we can confirm that the employee has not returned to the workplace since we were notified.
  • Has the employee been told to stay home for 14 days or until a negative test result is confirmed? 
    We cannot comment on the individual circumstances of the employee involved. However, we can confirm that the employee has not returned to the workplace since we were notified of the positive test result.

About the Board of Water Supply

The Board of Water Supply (BWS), a semi-autonomous agency of the City and County of Honolulu, manages Oahu’s municipal water resources and distribution system.  As the largest water utility in the State, the BWS serves approximately one million customers on Oahu.  The BWS embraces its mission of “Water for Life – Ka Wai Ola” – to provide a safe, dependable, and affordable water supply, now and into the future.  Uwē  ka lani, ola ka honua – “When the heavens weep, the earth lives.”  For more information, visit, follow @BWSHonolulu or like the BWS’s Facebook page at



Kathleen Elliott-Pahinui
Information Officer
Honolulu Board of Water Supply
Phone: (808) 748-5319