Calling the delay in re-opening trans-Pacific travel to Hawai‘i a very tough decision, Governor Ige outlined the reasons for changing the date during an afternoon news briefing.
- Record numbers of new cases in Hawai‘i
- Large, uncontrolled outbreaks in mainland states
- Supply chain for testing supplies interrupted because of outbreaks
- Anticipated uptick in cases when schools reopen
The governor said his decision, discussed during numerous meetings with county mayors over the past week, was between two difficult options. “On one hand we could continue to move forward and re-open the economy but face an uncontrolled surge in COVID-19 cases. On the other, we can delay the pre-travel testing and risk further damage to the economy,” Governor Ige explained. He said this will make the state’s economic recovery more challenging, but the health and safety of Hawai‘i’s residents come first. He again asked everyone to take personal responsibility to help win the battle against coronavirus.
Pre-Travel Testing Progress Update
Governor Ige also said that the state still believes the pre-travel testing program will help Hawai‘i stay safe. He announced that progress on the program is being made and more details will be in place by Sept. 1. Reiterating the outline of the program:
- Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) lab
- Travelers exempt for mandatory 14-day quarantine if testing negative no more than 72 hours in advance of travel
- If results are not available by time of arrival, quarantine necessary until test results received
- All travelers of all ages subject to pre-test requirement
- Individuals responsible for testing costs
- No commercial testing provided at Hawai‘i airports
The governor says the pre-test is one part of a multi-layered screening process which includes arrival temperature checks, completion of the State Travel and Health form, and secondary screening for those with symptoms or temperatures of 100.4 degrees or higher.
Governor Appears During House Committee Meeting on COVID-19
Gov. Ige made an appearance at a House Committee meeting on COVID-19 Monday. During his appearance, he expressed his condolences for the families of three individuals who passed away due to COVID-19. Gov. Ige said, “Three reported deaths in the islands. One is a resident who passed away in Arizona. Two others were here in the state. We continue to have among the lowest fatality rates, but every death is a tragedy.” The governor also gave an update on Hawai‘i’s healthcare supply, which remains at 50% capacity. He also showcased the newly revised health dashboard, which can be found here: https://recoverynavigator.hawaii.gov/