Let us start by saying we are not medical professionals. We’ve just seen a lot of people have questions about what is going on with COVID-19 on Okinawa. Also please leave a comment down below and let us know how COVID-19 is affecting you!
The following has the official total for Okinawa updated in real time. The left most number in the chart is the total number of cases. The right most number is the number recovered (out of the hospital and well). The second to right most is the number of deaths, sadly now at 5 as of 12 May
May 26th: No new cases for over 20 days! Way to go Okinawa! The Japanese gov’t has lifted all states of emergency, although everyone is asked to continue wearing a mask and practice social distancing. Domestic travel is open, so keep in mind that folks may be traveling here from the mainland where there are still some (but declining) cases. Be smart, stay safe!
May 12th: Zero new cases for 12 days in a row! The local gov’t is looking to reopen a lot of thing on the 15th or 20th, depending on the item. Please continue to wear face coverings, wash your hands, and keep 2 meters away!
April 29th: Today there were zero new cases! We can all hope that this continues thru and after golden week.
April 20th: Today the Okinawa gov’t declared a state of emergency. This is in addition to the nationwide state of emergency the federal gov’t issued a few days ago. The Governor hopes to reduce the rate of infection to 1/5th of what it is currently. He has asked stores to limit the number of people allowed inside and for everyone who can telework to do so. Here is a Japanese article: https://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/articles/-/562334
Stay safe my friends!
April 17th: Another grim milestone of over 100 infected, I’m not sure that these daily updates are still needed. I’m working on a few comprehensive pages, the bottom line is COVID-19 is in Okinawa, and it’s spreading in the community.
April 16th: 8 cases, one death.
April 15th: 10 today! Total is now 87, not including any who may be infected on US bases.
April 14th: 4 new cases today, and the Okinawa Governor has asked people to avoid eating in restaurants. Lot of non-traditional places have started takeout this past week, even some Izakayas! Article about the governor request: https://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/articles/-/560049
April 13th: There are 7 new cases today, including the first in the Yaeyama islands (Ishigaki) . 5 new cases on Okinawa Honto (main island)
April 12th: 9 new cases today
April 11th (2nd): 8 more cases today.
April 11th: We wanted to let you know that we just keep updating this page is it’s listed in several search engines and we want you to have the most up to date info on the first click. There are more cases today but as of 1500 Japan time they haven’t listed the number, this is quite common as they want to confirm details and then they have a press conference. The below graph was posted to day on OkinawaTimes website, which shows the cases/person graph of several prefectures in Japan. The top green line is Tokyo, which has climbed to almost 10 cases per 100k people. The bottom most red line is Okinawa, which has climbed quickly to a little over 2 cases per 100k people.
Update 10 April: 7 new cases today.
Update 9 April: Only 3 new cases today bringing the total to 43. Or 2.6 cases per 100,000 people. compared to around 9.5/100k in Tokyo.
Update 8 April: 5 new cases today. If this was 5 days ago 5 cases would seem a mountain, but it’s less than half yesterday….so yay!? Keep strong Okinawa!
Update 7 April: Today there are 12 new cases in Okinawa, more than double the highest daily number of cases seen before. (article here: https://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/articles/-/557092 )
Update 6 April: Another 6 new cases today in Okinawa, unknown number on the bases. Internet rumors say the mid-teens but no official numbers means they are just that, rumors.
Update 4 April: Six (6)! new local cases today and an unknown number of new cases on base. https://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/articles/-/556065
Update 3 April: 2 new local cases, both men, one in their 20s and one in their 30s. The US Military is no longer reporting cases, but they have started to screen people at the gates, so I think you can assume “a few”.
Update 2 April: No new local cases, the US Military is no longer reporting numbers.
Update 31 March: No new local cases, a 3rd case confirmed on Kadena. In addition the US Military said it would no longer release numbers of cases…so I guess now an unknown but probably more than 3 on Kadena.
Update 30 March, One new local case, second confirmed case on Kadena. As of 30 March there are 10 confirmed cases on Okinawa plus 2 confirmed cases on the American Kadena Air Base. The Air base made a point that both cases were new arrivals that have been quarantined. The Okinawa local was a man in his 40s. Article (Japanese) on the local:
Update 28 March, Three new cases today. Yesterday (the 27th there were no new cases.) Todays are a woman in her 20s, and one in her 30s, bringing the total number in Okinawa to 9, 3 in early Feb and 6 since 21 March. There was an additional case confirmed on Kadena Air Base, the American had been in quarantine since arrival and should not have caused spread:
Japanese Article on the locals: https://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/articles/-/552746
Facebook on the American:
Update 26 March: Today another new case, a man in his 30s.
Update 25 March: Today there are no new cases, all of the tests came back negative, a little good news!
Update 24 March 2020: A sad pattern, another new case today, this time a 40 year old male. A little lack of detail right now, but he was staying in a hotel in Okinawa for a few days.
Update 23 March 2020: A 20 year old male, unrelated to the lady from Spain has tested positive in Okinawa. He was a hotel worker at the Orion Royal hotel in Naha just of Kokasai street. Japanese article here: https://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/articles/-/550506
An updated article with more info, he was a hotel worker in Naha. https://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/articles/-/550590
Update 21 March 2020: A young woman returning from Spain thru Narita to Okinawa has test positive on the island. It’s unclear how much interaction she may have had with the Okinawa population, she came thru Narita on the 20th and continued to Okinawa.The Japanese story is here: https://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/articles/-/549888
Update 20 March 2020: Still no new cases. Rumors on island are running rampant about cases on the US bases, but as of 4:24pm local time there is nothing official. The local stores continue to be stocked with everything except masks and hand sanitizer, the on base shops have seen some runs on supplies but are generally mostly stocked. Please only consider official sources when deciding on your plans!
Update 16 March 2020: There have continued to be no new cases in Okinawa since Feb 20th, On Monday March 16th the main malls, the aquarium, and some local schools have resumed normal schedules (This week was scheduled to be the start of the spring semester break, but some schools have resumed classes to make up for the last 2 weeks of COVID related closures) . Of course it just takes one case getting on the island to cause trouble again, so keep on washing your hands, avoiding handshakes, and using best sanitation practices!
As of today, 16 March 2020: There have been 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Okinawa; however, there have been no new cases identified in the last 24 days, over 200 tests have come back negative. 2 of the 3 cases were related to the Diamond Princess cruise ship that docked in Okinawa before heading towards the mainland. The last positive test was Feb 20th, 2020. Two of the three cases were older taxi drivers. The third case was a farmer from Tomigusuku. So as of 16 March, it does not appear that any COVID-19 is spreading thru the community of locals or the American bases.
The Japanese gov’t has requested that all public events nationwide be curtailed thru March, so many American and local events are canceled to adhere to the central government’s wishes, although after the 21 day period since the last infection some events are restarting.
Toilet Paper: There was a report out of Osaka that TP would run short; however this was mistaken, Japan gets 98% of it’s TP domestically, and although I saw every baa-san in San-A buying TP on Sunday the 1st, as of Sunday the 8th (Edit:16 March, still in stock everywhere I’ve seen! ) the commissary, San-A, and Cainz were fully stocked with TP and facial tissues. Masks and hand sanitizer though seems sold out everywhere.
Where can I go for information?
The latest and most authoritative information for Japan is directly from the Gov’t of Japan’s Health, Labour, and Welfare office (roughly similar to the American CDC in this case). Their site shows number of cases, and has a link to cases by prefecture on a map. Their English information is here:
Of course the American Center for Disease Control is also an authoritative source of general best practices and the status of the outbreak.
Okinawa media sites are also sometimes useful, but they are only in Japanese. Be aware that Google translate can sometimes mix words up.
The Okinawa Times has a page dedicated to Corona Virus: Okinawa Times COVID-19 page
As I’m sure you’re all aware things are in flux daily. So stay safe, wash your hands, and be good to your neighbors. Leave a comment below and let us know how you are doing!