Hawai‘i COVID-19 Daily News Digest October 13, 2020

Posted on Oct 13, 2020 in COVID-19

Governor’s Office:

Governor Announces Additional Details on Pre-Travel Testing Program 

Governor Ige held a news briefing today to discuss additional details of the pre-travel testing program, which is set to launch Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. All counties will be participating in the pre-travel testing program, which allows travelers to bypass the mandatory 14-day quarantine, though there will be different rules in different counties:

  • Kauaʻi County has established a voluntary testing program the third day after arrival.
  • Maui County has established a voluntary post-arrival test.
  • Hawaiʻi Island will require an antigen test for all arriving transpacific travelers who are participating in the pre-travel testing program.
  • The City and County of Honolulu is exploring its capacity for post-arrival testing.

Gov. Ige highlighted the importance of the pre-travel testing program, saying “We’re looking forward to launching pre-travel testing on Thursday, because it’s a reflection of the progress we’ve made in managing the pandemic to the point where we can begin taking greater steps to reviving our economy and strengthening our community.”

The pre-travel testing for transpacific travel program includes:

  • Beginning October 15, those who do not want to be subject to the state’s 14-day mandatory travelers quarantine must take an approved COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to departure from the final leg of travel. (Children under the age of five will not be required to take a test.)
  • The test must be done through one of the 17 trusted testing partners (listed here).  
  • Negative test results may be uploaded on the Safe Travels Digital Platform, and all travelers must also complete the state’s mandatory travel and health form on this digital platform. (Travelers are encouraged to do this step 24 hours prior to arrival in Hawai‘i. Airport screeners will review information upon arrival and conduct temperature screenings.)

If a traveler’s COVID-19 test comes back negative, they will be exempt from quarantine. If the results haven’t come in yet, the traveler will be required to quarantine at their place of lodging until results come back. If the result comes back positive for COVID-19, the traveler and close contacts will be mandated to isolation for 14 days. Gov. Ige also announced that Kauaʻi and Maui will be participating in the pre-travel testing program for inter-island travel.

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) President and CEO John De Fries, who was also at the briefing, added, “The people in the hospitality industry are excited that the state has progressed to this point. We want to get back to work not just because everyone needs a paycheck but also because we get great satisfaction from welcoming people to the islands. We also know how important we are to the state. The dollars each visitor brings in ultimately translates into the education of our youngsters, care for the elderly, police, firemen, parks and much more. We need to get back to work, so that Hawai‘i keeps working for all of us.” De Fries also addressed issues of safety among hospitality employees, saying, “The concerns of the workers informed every key decision made and will continue to be heard. Their health and safety are a priority.”

Governor Signs 14th Emergency Proclamation  

The details of the pre-travel testing program are outlined in the 14th emergency proclamation which the governor signed today. It allows the mandatory 14-day quarantine to continue, with the exception of the pre-travel test option. It also extends the prohibition on evictions for non-payment of rent until Nov. 30, 2020 and extends the expiration dates of expired/expiring State IDs and driver licenses until Nov. 30, 2020.

https://governor.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/2010095-ATG_Fourteenth-Proclamation-for-COVID-19-distribution-signed.pdf

Testing and Contact Tracing Capacity Update

At the briefing, Gov. Ige also announced that the state has arranged nearly 200 contact tracers to aid DOH in tracing any travel-related infections. He also said the state used $30 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to purchase tests and testing machines. Gov. Ige said, “This means we will have hundreds of thousands of additional tests we can use to manage the virus in our community as we resume economic activity and school re-openings.”


Lieutenant Governor’s Office:

Lt. Governor Green Highlights Need for Pre-Travel Testing Program

During the news briefing, Lt. Governor Josh Green also reiterated the need for the safe travels program, saying, “COVID-19 can be scary and we take this virus very seriously. While we’ve learned to manage the spread, our people have suffered. It is time people have some hope for their economic future – which is closely tied to their health, too.” Lt. Gov Green said since the start of the pandemic, over 11,000 people in the State couldn’t pay their rent, 40,000 are on Med-QUEST, and 150,000 people have lost their jobs. The pre-travel testing program is expected to help put money back into Hawai‘i’s economy.

While there are still fears about incoming COVID-19 cases, Lt. Governor Green pointed out, “We know no test or testing method is perfect, and we expect some travelers may come in with COVID-19. However, we anticipate this number to be small and manageable. I’m in constant communication with our health care community and believe we are equipped to handle this next phase. Our greatest public health risk comes from our local communities not practicing proper mitigation steps like wearing a mask, washing hands, and physical distancing.”

Strategic Surveillance Testing

To supplement the pre-travel testing program, the State is also implementing a strategic surveillance testing program, which would test up to 10-percent of all travelers, randomly and voluntarily. The tests would be done four days post-arrival to Hawai‘i and would be at the State’s expense. The program would be a 60-day pilot, conducted on all islands, beginning Oct. 19, 2020. Lt. Governor Green said, “This method comes at the recommendation of Dr. Anthony Fauci, as it’s meant to add an additional layer of safety to the pre-travel testing program. The goal is to address the value of pre-testing and the risk of travel into Hawai‘i.”


Department of Health:

Four COVID-19 Deaths Reported

Four (4) COVID-19 deaths were reported today by DOH. Three (3) were from Honolulu. One involved a man between 60 to 69 years old, one man over the age of 80, and a woman between 70 to 79 years old. The fourth death was on Maui and involved a woman between 50 to 59 years old. She passed away in August, but it’s now being reported as a COVID-19 death as a result of updated information. All four had underlying conditions and were hospitalized at the time of their death.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, Oct. 13, 2020       

Island of Diagnosis       

New Cases       

Reported since       

2/28/2020       

(including new cases) 

O‘ahu       

30

12,097

Hawai‘i       

21

974

Maui      

11

389 

Kaua‘i      

59 

Moloka‘i       

19 

Lānaʻi   

HI residents diagnosed outside of HI      

0

37

Total Cases       

62

13,575++

Deaths       

4

173

Hospitalization count as of 10/12/20 at 5:01 pm: 13-Hawai‘i, 1-Maui, 93-O‘ahu, 2-Kaua‘i

++As a result of updated information, one case from O‘ahu was removed from the counts.

7-Day Averages  

  

Daily New Cases   

(change from previous day)  

% Lab Positive  

(change from previous day  

Statewide  

94 (-2)  

2.8% (+0.0)

O‘ahu  

75 (-1)  

3.7% (+0.0)

Hawai‘i  

19 (-1)  

 2.6% (-0.1)

Kaua‘i  

0 (+0)  

0.0% (+0.0)

Maui  

0 (+0)  

0.1% (+0.0)

*Metrics reflect information updated as of noon the previous day. Case counts are calculated based on date of report. Percent positivity is calculated based on date of lab result.  

Director Gives Update on COVID-19 Infections in the State

DOH Director Dr. Libby Char gave an update on the department’s fight against COVID-19 at the governor’s news briefing today, saying, “Detecting and containing disease clusters has been the focus of DOH efforts during the pandemic and this work continues. Our community is reducing the number of new infections reported daily and bringing down the rate of tests that come back positive.” She also said that testing is an important part of control and prevention, and that DOH is committed to increasing testing capacity for residents first, travelers second. She added DOH is also prioritizing health care workers, schools, care homes, and those in high-density living situations. DOH currently has 308 people on its case investigation team.

While most people are focused on COVID-19, Dr. Char also reminded everyone that it’s flu season, and a good time to get your flu shot. She said, “It is in our best interest that we prevent the flu to minimize the number of people that need to be in the hospital. Flu shots are recommended for everyone over the age of six months and are especially important for the very young and those over age 65. Please, get your flu shot now, and plan on getting your COVID vaccinations when they become available next year.”

COVID-19 Testing in Hawaii October 13, 2020COVID-19 Cases by Exposure Hawaii as of October 12, 2020

HawaiiCOVID19.com


Department of Public Safety:

Statewide Broad-Based Testing Continues for Jails, Prison Facilities

PSD’s Health Care Division is working with DOH, the Hawai‘i National Guard, and community partners to conduct mass testing for COVID-19 at all correctional facilities statewide. The Kauaʻi Community Correctional Center has begun testing inmates this week. Halawa Correctional Facility, Waiawa Correctional Facility, and the Women’s Community Correctional Center have concluded their broad-based testing of staff and inmates. There were no inmates with confirmed active COVID-19 test results at those facilities. 

DOH testing of O‘ahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) inmates is ongoing. Two (2) new test results were received today and both were negative. There are no inmates hospitalized. Over 95-percent of the OCCC inmates who had positive COVID-19 cases have recovered. The total number of PSD staff who have recovered and returned to work is at 100, or just over 83-percent. Information on PSD’s planning and response to COVID-19 can be found at: 

http://dps.hawaii.gov/blog/2020/03/17/coronavirus-covid-19-information-and-resources/.  


Hawai‘i House of Representatives: 

Informational Briefing Held to Discuss Availability, Distribution of PPE

A second informational briefing was held today to discuss the availability and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitation supplies throughout the state. The Legislature recently appropriated $100 million in CARES Act funds for the purchase and distribution of PPE. In the briefing today, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) said it anticipates shipping more supplies in late October to early November and plans to exhaust inventory by December. The final month of distribution is expected to be March 2021. The briefing, which was run by Rep. John Mizuno and Rep. Joy San Buenaventura, is part of a new series offered online to keep the public up to date on COVID-19 related issues. The weekly briefings are expected to continue through the end of the year. To livestream them:

https://www.facebook.com/hawaiihouseofreps/ 

 

Helpful Resources 

 

COVID-19 Tables, Charts, and Visualizations

https://health.hawaii.gov/coronavirusdisease2019/what-you-should-know/current-situation-in-hawaii 

 

Safe Travels Information (Frequently Asked Questions)

https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/#travel-FAQs

Trans-Pacific Passenger Arrivals Statistics

https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/covid-19-updates/trans-pacific-passenger-arrivals/

Kaua‘i County
Kaua‘i COVID-19 webpage: https://www.kauai.gov/COVID-19
To report violators: https://www.kauai.gov/KPD-Online-Reporting 

Maui County
Maui County mandatory travel declaration form and request for limited quarantine form: 
https://www.mauicounty.gov 

To report violators: (808) 244-6400 or [email protected]  

 

Hawai‘i County
Hawai‘i County COVID-19 webpage:
https://coronavirus-response-county-of-hawaii-hawaiicountygis.hub.arcgis.com/
Critical infrastructure and medical travel request: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/e2f4ce19aa854964a8fd60bec7fbe78c 
To report violators: 808-935-3311 

City & County of Honolulu 
Honolulu COVID-19 webpage: oneoahu.org 
Interisland passengers arriving on O‘ahu are not subject to the mandatory quarantine.  
To report violators: 808-723-3900 or [email protected] 

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PDF: COVID-19 Daily News Digest October 13, 2020