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Couple are arrested for boarding flight from San Francisco to Hawaii AFTER testing positive

A couple from Hawaii were arrested at the weekend for boarding a five-hour flight home from San Francisco after they had tested positive for COVID-19 and were told to isolate by airport authorities. 

Wesley Moribe, 41, and Courtney Peterson, 46, of Wailua, Hawaii, traveled from San Francisco International Airport to Lihue Airport in Kauai, Hawaii, with an unidentified four-year-old child Sunday despite learning of their diagnoses before boarding, according to authorities. 

The couple are accused of putting other passengers and crew on board the United Airlines flight ‘in danger of death’ by exposing them to the virus during the 5 hours 47 minutes-long journey. 

It is not clear how many people were on board the flight with the infected couple and whether all passengers and crew have since been informed about their potential exposure. 

Moribe and Peterson were arrested by Hawaii police after they landed and charged with reckless endangerment.

Courtney Peterson, 46

Wesley Moribe, 41, (left) and Courtney Peterson, 46, (right) traveled from San Francisco International Airport to Lihue Airport in Kauai, Hawaii, with an unidentified four-year-old child Sunday despite learning of their coronavirus diagnoses before boarding, police said

The couple from Hawaii were arrested at the weekend for boarding a five-hour flight home from San Francisco after they had tested positive for COVID-19 and were told to isolate by airport authorities

The couple from Hawaii were arrested at the weekend for boarding a five-hour flight home from San Francisco after they had tested positive for COVID-19 and were told to isolate by airport authorities

Kauai Police said Moribe and Peterson learned they had tested positive for coronavirus and were told by quarantine station at San Francisco airport to isolate and to not board the plane for Hawaii.

The couple ignored airport staff and boarded the flight anyway, police said. 

Kauai Police working at the Lihue Airport checkpoint were informed what the couple had done and were waiting for them as the plane touched down. 

Moribe and Peterson were taken to an isolation room at the airport for investigation.

They were then arrested for reckless endangering in the 2nd degree and accused of ‘placing the passengers of the flight in danger of death’ by deliberating boarding the flight while aware if their diagnosis.

Their bail was set at $1,000 each, which they later posted and were released. 

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

The couple are accused of putting other passengers and crew on board the United Airlines flight 'in danger of death' by exposing them to the virus during the 5 hours 47 minutes-long journey

The couple are accused of putting other passengers and crew on board the United Airlines flight ‘in danger of death’ by exposing them to the virus during the 5 hours 47 minutes-long journey

‘The Kauai Police Department, working alongside our county and state partners, remain diligent in protecting the health and safety of our island,’ said Chief of Police Todd G. Raybuck. 

‘We continue to request visitors and residents alike to follow the Governor’s Emergency Rules and take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.’  

Under state rules put in place back in March, anyone traveling into Hawaii must quarantine for 14 days.

However, from November 24 travelers can avoid the quarantine if they have a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of departure.

From December 2, all travelers into Kauai are subject to a 14-day quarantine regardless of a negative test.  

It is not clear how many people were on board the flight with the infected couple and whether all passengers and crew have since been informed about their potential exposure

It is not clear how many people were on board the flight with the infected couple and whether all passengers and crew have since been informed about their potential exposure

Moribe and Peterson (above) were arrested by Hawaii police after they landed at Lihue and charged with reckless endangerment

Moribe and Peterson (above) were arrested by Hawaii police after they landed at Lihue and charged with reckless endangerment

Their bail was set at $1,000 each, which they later posted and were released. Moribe in center

Their bail was set at $1,000 each, which they later posted and were released. Moribe in center

Questions are now also being asked over why the couple was able to board the flight in California when airport staff were aware of their positive test results. 

Airlines ban travelers from boarding flights if they have a positive COVID test.  

DailyMail.com has reached out to both San Francisco International Airport and United for comment.

It is also unclear whether all passengers have since been informed and whether contact tracing has since been carried out from the flight. 

The flight manifest should make contact tracing relatively straightforward but it is not clear what measures have been taken, how many passengers and crew were on board the flight, if any of them have since tested positive or shown symptoms for the virus and which authority is responsible for carrying out contact tracing. 

Based on Flight Tracker data, one United flight took that flight path Sunday, departing San Francisco at 11:15 a.m. PST and arriving into Lihue at 3:03 p.m. HST. 

Lihue Airport of Kauai, Hawaii. From December 2, travelers into Kauai are subject to a 14-day quarantine regardless of a negative test

Lihue Airport of Kauai, Hawaii. From December 2, travelers into Kauai are subject to a 14-day quarantine regardless of a negative test


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