Mayor Caldwell says Oahu can still make it to Tier 3 despite high COVID-19 numbers


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell shared the City’s latest 7-day average for coronavirus cases on Oahu on Thursday, Nov. 19. The City’s weekly average currently stands at 71 cases per day with a positivity rate of 2.7 %.

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Mayor Caldwell held a news conference on Nov. 19 to provide his weekly coronavirus update and provide details on the City’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“I’m still hopeful we can get to Tier 3 and gather in 10 before the holidays kick in,” the Mayor said. “We need to work harder.”

Mayor Caldwell also encouraged the use of the state’s COVID-19 mobile testing lab at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

Courtesy: City and County of Honolulu

Caldwell says the testing lab has currently tested 300 people and yielded a positivity rate of 5%.

“The reason for that is we are sending our first responders, who have been in close contact with people, so their positivity rate is much higher,” explained the Mayor.

“And a hundred people have taken advantage of the Safe Travels get out of quarantine possibilities by coming here. They tested before they go to a neighbor island. We need to do a lot better. We can do up to 10,000 tests a day,” he said.

The Mayor said that he is optimistic more people will utilize the mobile testing lab as the holidays approach and travel increases.

The city has purchased 42,000 tests that need to be used up by the end of the year. When KHON2 asked the mayor what his plans are to get more people to use the lab, he said they are looking to see if they can take test kits closer to the interisland terminal and outside of the airport.

“To care homes, to first responders in their facilities, you know, police stations and fire stations, and other places. So we need to really ramp it up and we’re looking to do that.”

Testing numbers increased since the the lab was added as one of the state’s trusted testing partners for interisland travel, but the mayor would need the governor’s approval to use it for secondary, post-arrival testing.

“I want to see what the positivity rate for visitors are coming into Oahu. Perhaps argue, based on that for a secondary, post-arrival test. But if we don’t get those numbers, it’s something I think we’re going to be seriously considering,” said Mayor Caldwell.

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