Governor likely to delay lifting mandatory quarantine

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — After two long meetings between Hawaii Governor David Ige and the four county mayors, an announcement is expected after the weekend on whether the Aug. 1 date of lifting the mandatory quarantine will be moved.

“There’s no doubt that we will delay the timeline. The only question is, will we be capable of giving a specific date so that people can begin the next stage of plans, or are things too chaotic that we have to just pause?” said Lieutenant Governor Josh Green.

Lt. Gov. Green said Gov. Ige is taking his time to get all the feedback and information together before making an announcement.

“He wants to make a good decision–a smart decision. He wants to give a clear message, and that’s why he’s taking a little time this weekend,” said Lt. Gov. Green.

Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino said in a press conference on Friday, July 10, that there are many things to consider when moving the Aug. 1 date. Many ideas were discussed in the meeting with the governor.

The increase of COVID-19 cases on the mainland, and in Hawaii, was a major part of the conversation, as well as ensuring infected passengers don’t get in. Part of this is making sure that the pre-testing plan is a solid one, since many mainland states like California and Texas are seeing surges.

“We want a testing system that is very accurate. I mean, we have to be up there on the mid to high 90 percentile as far as accuracy, and efficiency, and availability,” said Mayor Victorino.

However, officials also have to be prepared for when a positive case slips through. Some plans for this are already in the works, according to Mayor Victorino.

“(We’re) asking our hotels once (visitors) come in…all our vacation accommodations…to have a check-in system and to be monitoring if anyone shows any signs that the Dept. of Health and health providers are notified immediately,” said Mayor Victorino.

Another way to ensure people who should be in quarantine stay in quarantine, he said, the state is potentially looking at setting up a tracking system.

“We have a number of contacts or apps that we’re working on that will be able to track people if they leave their facility that are under quarantine,” said Mayor Victorino.

Mayor Victorino said they are also re-evaluating the checks at the airport, and whether thermal screening and the travel health form are enough, or if more questions and other tests are needed.

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