Hawai‘i COVID-19 Daily News Digest October 7, 2020

Posted on Oct 7, 2020 in COVID-19

Governor’s Office:

Pre-travel Testing Program Begins Oct. 15

Hawaiʻi’s pre-travel testing program requires passengers five and older to take a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified laboratory within 72 hours from the final leg of departure and produce a negative result in order to avoid the state’s 14-day mandatory quarantine. A trained professional must observe all tests. Only test results from trusted testing partners approved by the Hawaiʻi Department of Health will be accepted.

At an afternoon news briefing at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, Gov. Ige said, “We don’t expect a rush of travelers beginning next Thursday (Oct. 15), as most airlines indicate they will not increase trans-Pacific flights until November 1. Many hotels are just gradually re-opening between now until the end of the year.”

All of the partners involved with the pre-travel testing program…government, airlines, the hospitality industry and businesses, are using the start date to ensure all safety measures, operations, testing and contact tracing capabilities are at the highest levels of readiness.

“We’re all hoping to get everyone back to work, our kids back in the classroom and to safely begin socializing with family and friends. But to do this, we need to work together to get the coronavirus under control,” Gov. Ige added.

Interisland Quarantine Remains in Place

For now, the interisland quarantine remains in place as Gov. Ige and county mayors come up with a workable solution that balances public safety with the need to revive the economy and residents’ desire to connect with family and friends on other islands.

All arriving passengers are still required to fill out the Safe Travels health form. Temperature checks will continue at all airports. People with temperatures of 100.4 degrees and higher or who are experiencing other symptoms will be required to undergo secondary airport screening conducted by trained personnel. Links and more information on pre-travel testing and a list of approved trusted testing partners can be found at: HawaiiCOVID19.com

420,000 Rapid Antigen Test Kits Headed to Hawai‘i

At today’s news briefing, Gov. Ige also announced that the federal government is providing 420,000 Abbot BINAXNOW rapid antigen tests by the end of the year. These 15-minutes tests will be used to protect the health of Hawai‘i residents, specifically at long-term care centers and as schools are reopened.


Lieutenant Governor’s Office:

LG Announces a Dozen Trusted Pre-Travel Testing and Travel Partners

Lt. Gov. Josh Green spearheaded plans to bring on board a variety of trusted partners to conduct pre-travel testing. Green said, “We’re continuing to add more trusted testing partners and this is an example of the state’s testing confirmation and verification system and hardening and operationalizing our COVID-19 response infrastructure. Trusted partners as of Oct. 7, 2020:

  • AFC Urgent Care
  • Carbon Health
  • CityHealth Urgent Care
  • Color
  • CVS Health
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Kaiser Permanente (members only)
  • Quest Diagnostics
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Vault Health
  • Walgreens

“The pandemic demands that we remain flexible and open minded to new advances in screening tools and methods to further decrease the spread of the virus,” said Lt. Gov. Green. “We are doing all that we can to make the pre-travel testing program successful and we’ll need to make adjustment along the way. I appreciate the incredible hard work of the partners involved in this process, and special thanks to the people of Hawai‘i who have shown their aloha, patience and resilience throughout this challenging time.” Registration instructions and costs can be found on partners’ websites. Links, more information and current list of approved trusted testing partners at: HawaiiCOVID19.com.


Department of Health: 

Three Deaths and 110 Additional Coronavirus Cases Reported Today 

The deaths of three (3) men from O‘ahu, raise Hawai‘i’s COVID-19 death toll to 163. All three had underlying conditions and all had been in the hospital. Two were 70-79 years-old and the third was 60-69 years-old.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, Oct. 7, 2020       

Island of Diagnosis       

New Cases       

Reported since       

2/28/2020       

(including new cases) 

O‘ahu       

90

11,702

Hawai‘i       

18

852

Maui      

0

377 

Kaua‘i      

59 

Moloka‘i       

19 

Lānaʻi   

HI residents diagnosed outside of HI      

2

36

Total Cases       

110

13,045++

Deaths       

163 

Hospitalization count as of 10/6/20 at 3:43 pm: 14-Hawai‘i, 1-Maui, 94-O‘ahu, 0-Kaua‘i   

++As a result of updated information, one (1) case from O‘ahu and one (1) case from Maui were removed from the counts. One (1) case from Maui was re-categorized to out-of-state.

7-Day Averages  

  

Daily New Cases   

(change from previous day)  

% Lab Positive  

(change from previous day  

Statewide  

93 (+0)  

2.6% (+0.0)

O‘ahu  

73 (-2)  

3.1% (-0.1)

Hawai‘i  

18 (+1)  

 2.9% (+0.1)

Kaua’i  

0 (+0.0)  

0.0% (+0.0)

Maui  

1 (+0.0)  

0.3% (-0.1)

*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. 

HawaiiCOVID19.com

Health Department Reaction to Pre-Travel Testing

DOH Director Dr. Elizabeth Char shared the department’s stance on the State’s pre-travel testing program, saying, “The science currently dictates that more layers of protection, such as more testing, is safer than less testing. While the Safe Travels program adds a greater layer of safety, we support additional testing for travelers entering our state and a second test should be added soon, as testing supplies and logistics make this feasible.”

COVID-19 Cases by Exposure Oct 7, 2020

For more tables, charts and visualizations visit the DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division: https://health.hawaii.gov/coronavirusdisease2019/what-you-should-know/current-situation-in-hawaii 


Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency: 

Incident Commander Gives Overview of Efforts to Prepare for Pre-Travel Testing

During the news briefing, HI-EMA Director and the State’s Incident Commander for COVID-19, Kenneth Hara, gave an update on steps the State has taken to prepare for transpacific travel – as well as reducing the number of COVID-19 cases in Hawaiʻi. Director Hara outlined that Enterprise Technology Services recently created the “Safe Travels Hawaiʻi Digital Platform,” which allows travelers to complete travel and health questionnaires and allows the traveler to upload their COVID-19 test results. The Department of Transportation Airport’s Division has also been working on the airport and screening process for the start of the pre-travel testing program. Additionally, DOH has increased the number of contact tracers to 300, with approximately 200 in reserve. Director Hara said, “A robust contact tracing capability is essential to our disease mitigation efforts, so we are continuing to increase our staffing in this area.”  



Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority: 

HTA Prepares for Pre-Travel Testing Program 

HTA is also among the state agencies preparing for the pre-travel testing program and getting ready to welcome visitors back to the islands. HTA President and CEO John De Fries said “For the next week, Hawai‘i’s visitor industry partners will continue to remain focused on implementing their respective enhanced safety protocols and to ensure procedures are in place to protect our local employee-associates and our visiting guests. Through the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau, pre-arrival and post-arrival COVID-19 safety and health messages are being communicated to our visitors.” 

De Fries also said HTA is excited about the start of the pre-travel testing program and that Hawaiʻi has industry standards that were set up by an array of respected, professional trade associations, with intense scrutiny being applied by the leadership of local hotel labor unions.


Department of Transportation:

Airports Division Refinances Debt for Significant Savings

DOT is pleased to announce that the Airports Division has successfully refinanced $300 million of outstanding bonds for significant savings. In addition, the division took advantage of historically low interest rates in the municipal bond market to finance capital projects, delivering critical funding to advance projects that will maintain, preserve, and expand air service facilities across the State. 

DOT continues to act strategically to reduce costs while also delivering strategic projects critical to the state. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the success of today’s bond sale provides strong evidence of the market’s long-term confidence in Hawai‘i and our airports system,” said Gov. David Ige. To view the full news release on the achievement please visit: https://hidot.hawaii.gov/blog/2020/10/07/hdot-airports-division-refinances-debt-for-significant-savings-provides-funds-for-critical-projects-at-historically-low-rates/


Department of Public Safety:

Update on Mass Testing Underway at Facilities Statewide  

PSD’s Health Care Division is working with DOH, the Hawaiʻi National Guard (HING) and community partners, to conduct mass testing for COVID-19 at all correctional facilities statewide. The Maui Community Correctional Center (MCCC) began testing its staff Monday with the help of the HING. So far, the 49 staff test results processed were all negative. The Halawa Correctional Facility recorded four (4) more negative staff test results and O‘ahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) logged an additional 11 negative staff results. The Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC) received 44 more inmate test results. All 44 were negative. With the 83 negative inmate results previously recorded for WCCC on Oct. 3, that brings them to 127 negative inmate results received so far.

Of the 59 OCCC inmate results received through continuous DOH testing, three (3) were positive, 55 negative and one (1) inconclusive. There are no inmates hospitalized. The number of PSD staff who have recovered and returned to work increased to 97. To view more on PSD’s planning and response efforts to COVID-19:  

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


Department of Land and Natural Resources:

New Fees for Visitors at Hawaiʻi State Parks Intended to Off-Set COVID-19 Losses

As of this Friday, October 9, out-of-state residents and commercial operators will be charged higher fees for entering select Hawaiʻi State Parks. The higher fees were approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources in August. After a public hearing, the fee schedule was signed into law by Gov. David Ige last week. 

DLNR Division of State Parks Administrator Curt Cottrell commented, “Though the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in drastic reductions in the number of visitors coming to Hawaiʻi, we hope these additional fees will help to offset some of our severe revenue losses incurred by State Parks as Hawaiʻi gradually reopens. Some of our most heavily visited parks will remain closed due to coronavirus concerns. This hampers revenue generation as we all struggle with the economic impacts of the pandemic.” Read the full news release here:  http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/blog/2020/10/07/nr20-159/


Helpful Resources 

 

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 7, 2020