HONOLULU (KHON) — After a milestone day with no new cases of COVID-19 reported for the state, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell called upon the Department of Health to accept the City and County’s help in expanding testing capacity and contact tracing.
“We’re putting public health and safety at the forefront,” Caldwell said, “which is why we continue to talk about the importance of aggressive testing and contact tracing and isolation. It’s why we’ve tried so hard to push forward a turnkey operation, where tests would be provided to community health centers, tests would be completed and then reported. It would’ve resulted in testing, contact tracing, and we [would have] even set up a program with a hotel for isolation for those who test positive. That effort was rejected by leadership at the Department of Health.”
Caldwell detailed different proposals the City and County presented to the DOH, each of which were rejected. Among the City and County’s goals, Caldwell said, is to roll out a robust testing and contact tracing plan that would test people in high-risk situations such as healthcare workers and people who live in multi-generational homes, whether they are symptomatic or not.
“It is clear to all of us at this point, that despite the fact that Honolulu has tried to do testing, contact tracing and isolation, responsibility lies squarely in the lap of Department of Health leadership. We’ve done about as much as we possibly can.”
Watch the news conference in the video above.