UPDATE: Thursday, Aug. 6, 5 p.m.
Gov. David Ige introduced the return of Hawai‘i’s interisland journey quarantine on Thursday, however a change has been made in order that the quarantine will solely be reinstated IN PART.
Following his preliminary announcement and after additional discussions with Attorney General Clare Connors, the governor has determined that he’ll approve the interisland journey quarantine just for vacationers arriving on the counties of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, Maui, and Kalawao. The quarantine requirement applies to any person traveling to these islands. This means travel from the Big Island to Maui, for instance, would still require the quarantine, as would travel from O‘ahu to any island. However, people traveling from outer islands to O‘ahu would not face quarantine on arrival. However, if they traveled back to a neighbor island before the quarantine is lifted, they would be forced to quarantine there.
The period of self-quarantine will begin immediately upon arrival and last 14 days or the duration of the person’s keep on the island, whichever is shorter.
The Attorney General’s Office is finalizing an 11th emergency proclamation that Ige will signal earlier than Tuesday, Aug. 11, when the quarantine will go into impact. Also after the information convention, the governor clarified that the interisland journey quarantine will stay in impact till no less than Aug. 31 except it’s terminated or prolonged by a separate proclamation.
The earlier inter-island journey quarantine affecting all inter-island vacationers took impact on Apr. 1 and was lifted on June 16.
Hawai‘i took two big steps back in its battle with coronavirus on Thursday, as Gov. David Ige announced the reinstatement of the mandatory 14-day interisland quarantine along with a return to restrictions for the island of O‘ahu where the virus has become endemic.
A total of 53 cases of the virus were reported Thursday, but Hawai‘i Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson said officials expect at least 200 cases when a glitch in the Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system is worked out and reporting delays are erased. Anderson added that now, cases are spreading exponentially throughout the state.
“The numbers keep growing, and we are concerned it will get worse before it gets better,” the governor said. “As we reopened our community, people let their guards down. It’s been very disappointing.”
Interisland quarantine restrictions on journey will return Tuesday, Aug. 11.
He added the quarantine is being reinitiated to cease what would in any other case be the possible unfold of the virus in giant numbers to neighbor islands, which have been rather more profitable than O‘ahu at limiting the reach of COVID-19. As of Thursday, the Big Island had reported 122 cases since testing began in late February. Honolulu County reported 51 more cases than Hawai‘i County’s pandemic complete on Wednesday alone.
“Interisland travel was an important way for families to keep in touch,” Ige mentioned. “I wish this was not necessary, but the health and safety of our community is our top priority.”
People touring from neighbor islands to O‘ahu will be exempt from quarantine, including those traveling for medical purposes.
Those planning interisland trips for any reason may look for updates on airport websites.
The governor did not directly answer questions about what the reinstatement means for his pre-arrival testing program. That initiative is meant to bring trans-Pacific travelers back to the islands with an opportunity to earn quarantine exemption. Ige said an announcement will be coming within the next week as to the program’s standing, which is at the moment set to enter impact on Sept. 1.
Back to the Beginning
Honolulu County will return to a number of prohibitive restrictions that characterised the statewide lockdown ordered by Gov. Ige in late March, although folks won’t be confined to their properties and a few companies will probably be allowed to stay open.
For now, these restrictions stay remoted to O‘ahu, though worsening case counts on neighbor islands could bring about renewed restrictions of their own.
The primary initiative on O‘ahu is to limit large gatherings, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said, with a focus on stricter enforcement. He announced in a press conference Thursday an order that he called Act With Care, Do Not Gather.
O‘ahu’s new restrictions will embody the closure of 300 metropolis and county parks, together with all state parks, and the seashores that entrance them. All campgrounds, botanical gardens, private and non-private swimming pools, tennis golf equipment, and crew sports activities have been closed or suspended. The restrictions go into impact on Friday, Aug. 7, and can prolong by Sept. 5.
People should traverse the parks and seashores to get to the water and take part in actions like browsing, swimming, fishing, paddling, and diving, however actions on land will probably be prohibited. Restroom providers will stay open, however no loitering will probably be allowed.
Bars have been already put beneath a three-week closure in Honolulu County beginning Friday, July 31. Restaurants will probably be allowed to stay open, although cooks will probably be mandated to put on face coverings. Fitness facilities will stay open however courses inside them received’t be allowed. Movie theaters, religious providers, and museums can stay open, however arcades, bowling alleys, and mini-golf programs will probably be pressured to shut.
Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard mentioned 160 further law enforcement officials will probably be deployed beneath strategic enforcement initiatives and that warnings will now not be the first mode of enforcement. Instead, officers will write extra citations and impact extra arrests.
An enforcement hotline in Honolulu County will open beginning Sunday morning at 10 a.m. The intent is to garner neighborhood help in reporting violations to finally drive harmful habits down. The hotline quantity is 808-723-3900 and the related e mail handle is [email protected].
While COVID-19 usually spreads extra simply indoors, Caldwell mentioned the main focus is on giant outside gatherings of dozens and even a whole lot of people that have continued to disregard social distancing and face-covering mandates for weeks, resulting in the surge in instances. It’s these occasions, he mentioned, that DOH has linked with nearly all of uncontrolled neighborhood unfold on O‘ahu.
As to what this means for public schools and universities across the island and the state, Gov. Ige was non-commital Thursday. He said he will sit down with the state Department of Education leadership, as well as University leadership, to determine the best way forward and hammer out the details to any change in plans. Public schools were originally scheduled to reopen Aug. 4, a date that was pushed back to Aug. 17 to allow for more training and preparation before a return to in-person instruction.
Numbers Behind the Moves
Anderson said two different predictive models indicate that if cases continue to rise as they have in recent days and weeks, intensive care unit (ICU) capacity on O‘ahu will be exhausted by either Aug. 19 or Aug. 21, respectively.
Currently, 117 people are hospitalized statewide as a result of COVID-19 infection. Of those, 115 are on O‘ahu. A total of 53% of the state’s ICU beds are stuffed, which is able to inevitably improve, Anderson mentioned. Approximately 10% of Hawai’i instances of the virus lead to hospitalization. Neighbor island projections are higher than on O‘ahu, but hospital capacity is also far more fragile.
Anderson said the consistency of coronavirus case reporting in the triple-digits each day for the last week has brought the state to the precipice of a public health crisis.
“It’s rather more critical than we projected,” Anderson mentioned. “There will be more deaths and hospitalizations in the weeks to come.”