Statement from Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami regarding Governor David Ige’s denial of Kauai County’s proposed second-test pilot program
News Release from County of Kauai, Oct 5, 2020
“We thank the public for your patience over the course of the past 10 days while we awaited a decision on our proposed Mayor’s Emergency Rule 18, which would have established a post-arrival testing program for all incoming travelers to Kaua‘i. Our proposed pilot was intended to augment the state’s pre-travel testing program.
“Unfortunately, we were informed by Governor Ige Monday morning that our proposed Rule 18 was denied.
“Our county administration has been clear that a single pre-arrival testing program alone does not provide the needed level of protection for our Kaua‘i community. However, our proposed second-test program has formally been denied.
“While this news is disappointing, we have said since day one that we must be flexible and ready to adapt to our ever-changing environment in order to keep our community safe. Today is no different.
“We will keep moving forward and utilize our resources to help protect our residents. We have already secured 15,000 rapid tests. We are now developing a plan on how we can still utilize these tests to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on our island in light of the Governor and Lt. Governor’s pre-travel testing program which will commence on Oct. 15.”
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Big Island opts out of pre-travel testing program
SA: … Hawaii island Mayor Harry Kim said he is opting out of the state’s pre-travel testing program starting on Oct. 15, which means mainland visitors going to the Big Island still will be required to quarantine for 14 days.
Although the neighbor islands are desperately dependent upon tourism — even more so than Oahu — Kim was concerned enough about a surge in cases to postpone the restart of tourism. Hawaii island recorded its highest daily count on Saturday at 43 new infections. Hilo Medical Center reported the Big Island’s coronavirus death toll at 32.
“All of us want to open up our economy, (but) … I made a decision that the risk factor in regards to doing this at this time is not an acceptable risk as far as endangering Hawaii’s people,” Kim said, adding that he is trying to come up with a plan to address issues involving reopening tourism.
On Monday, Gov. David Ige gave each county the option to opt out of the program that would allow travelers who test negative to avoid the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine, after denying Kauai County’s proposal to establish a post-travel testing program to supplement the state’s program. The governor did not respond to a request for comment on why he rejected Kauai’s proposal for a second-test option. Kauai had secured 15,000 of its own rapid tests for a post- arrival pilot program.
A Kauai spokeswoman said that opting out of the pre-travel testing program is “not a viable option” for the county, which had intended to “add another layer to the state’s program.”
Brian Perry, spokesman for Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino, declined to say whether the county would be participating in the state’s pre-travel testing program, but said it is “continuing to work on these issues with the governor.”
Meanwhile, interisland travel restrictions will remain until the end of October “posing a very difficult (situation) for many of the interisland travelers,” Kim said….
MN: Maui Mayors’ pitch for second COVID test on arrival denied
TGI: Ige denies Kauai County’s proposed second-test program
read … Big Island opts out of pre-travel testing program
Ige talks end of interisland quarantine
HTH: … Gov. David Ige said Monday that he and Hawaii’s four county mayors are working to end the 14-day quarantine for interisland travelers.
“We’ll be announcing the final details by midweek this week, so everyone would know,” Ige said during a Honolulu Star-Advertiser Facebook Live forum….
read … Ige talks end of interisland quarantine