HONOLULU (KHON2) — Gov. David Ige told KHON2 he is concerned about the uptick of cases in the islands while COVID-19 cases are rising across the country.
Gov. Ige said, he knows the pandemic has been tough on everyone but he is asking the community to hold on a little bit longer.
“We are seeing more community spread. We are seeing more gatherings,” the governor said.
Gov. Ige asked Hawaii residents to refrain from gatherings.
“If at this pace we continue, we would be in Tier 2,” Gov. Ige said. “Which means we would look at restricting activities again.”
Gov. Ige said, he is counting on the vaccine rollout to slow the spread.
“We’re doing 80,000 vaccinations this week, and if we can continue to get the vaccines at those levels, you know, two months time will be another half a million doses, so and that really does make a difference,” Ige explained, adding that he wished the federal government would give Hawaii more vaccine doses.
KHON2 asked the governor when he will loosen travel restrictions for those who are fully vaccinated.
The governor replied, “It’s really about whether the science says that when you’re vaccinated, you can’t get the virus, right? And that you can’t infect others.”
Gov. Ige said, he is waiting on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) before making any decisions.
“It seems prudent that we should be patient, and give as many people as we can the opportunity to get vaccinated,” he said.
The State of Hawaii is already working with two companies to improve the Safe Travels testing program. Gov. Ige said, those companies are also trying to find a way to validate vaccination records.
“Both of them are committed to expanding their systems and platforms to include vaccination and vaccination records,” Ige said.
“Once they can get access to the vaccination records, I’m pretty certain that we would be able to incorporate the vaccination record with the Safe Travel Program relatively quickly, in a couple of weeks… two to four weeks would be possible,” Gov. Ige said.
The governor said, he feels confident he will get the guidance from the CDC to allow those who are fully vaccinated to travel more freely by the end of 2021.