Big Island Senator Outlines Concerns Over Governor’s 14-Day Quarantine

March 23, 2020, 11:36 AM HST · Updated March 23, 11:36 AM
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Below is a letter from Sen. Kai Kahele to Gov. David Ige regarding the governorʻs 14-day quarantine order for visitors arriving in Hawaiʻi: 

“Dear Governor Ige,

I am writing to express my deep concern over the determinations, designations, and
proclamations set forth in the Second Supplementary Proclamation, relating to the COVID-19
emergency, issued on March 21, 2020. I am gravely alarmed by the section of the order that
invokes a mandatory self-quarantine of all individuals entering the State of Hawaiʻi set to go into
effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 26, 2020. Specifically, the following concerns should be urgently
addressed by your administration and the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency:

1. There are hundreds of flights and thousands of passengers arriving in the State of Hawaiʻi both
on U.S. domestic routes and international routes between the signing of the proclamation on
March 21, 2020 and the time when the proclamation will go into effect on March 26, 2020. Are
any of these passengers being screened at the point of departure and/or the point of arrival? Are
we screening these passengers at our airports with temporal scanners and/or requiring them to fill
out forms that identify wether they have flu-like symptoms, have been directly exposed to
anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, and what their travel plans will be while in the islands? Are
we capturing their names, addresses, and phone numbers in case they need to be contacted by a
health professional? Do you have a 100% accountability for all commercial aircraft arriving in
the State of Hawaiʻi with passengers between now and 12:01 a.m. on March 26, 2020?

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2. It was indicated that the procedure for incoming passengers will be to fill out the State of
Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture Declaration Form as a means for tracking and accounting for
individuals entering the State of Hawaiʻi when the quarantine goes into effect. What is the
procedure for international arrivals? International flights do not require the State of Hawaiʻi
Agriculture Form for international passengers or crew members when inbound to Hawaiʻi. What
form will be provided to them? Additionally, a Hawaii Business Magazine article from 2015
references Jim Dannemiller, president of SMS Research, the firm contracted to scan and process
the forms, admitting that “the completion rate is less than half.” What enforcement procedures do
you plan to institute to ensure incoming passengers are completing the forms accurately and
honestly?

3. What is the procedure for private and corporate jets should they choose to fly to the State of
Hawaiʻi both from the U.S. mainland or international locations? Many of these aircraft have
already begun arriving on every island, including Lanaʻi, where there are still no confirmed cases
of COVID-19. Will they also require self-quarantine? How are we communicating with these
private owners? Are we coordinating with the FAA to ensure when a flight plan is filed to
Hawaiʻi by a private jet owner or company that the flight plan information is provided to the
state so officials can meet the aircraft upon arrival, process paperwork, and ensure the quarantine
procedures are known and complied with by incoming passengers? Are those passengers being
screened by a health professional when they arrive in the State of Hawaiʻi?

4. What are the specific enforcement procedures to ensure that the individuals in a mandatory
self-quarantine actually comply with the order? It was stated at the press conference that
enforcement would be handled by the individual counties. Can you please explain exactly what
that means? What resources or state law enforcement officers will be provided to supplement
local law enforcement to enforce this order throughout the individuals quarantine period on the
various islands?

5. The order specifically indentifies “all persons entering the State of Hawaiʻi” and its primary
focus is air travel but have you identified boats, vessels and yachts that are in transit to the State
of Hawaiʻi. Will the quarantine apply to those passengers as well? How will that be executed by
your administration? Just over the past few days, several U.S. vessels have attempted to enter
Mānele Small Boat Harbor on Lānaʻi from Oregon, Washington and the other Hawaiian Islands.
What is your administration doing to immediately address this issue?

6. Like many other states and governors that have issued similar orders, you stated this order
does not apply to pilots or flight crews. What is the State and your administration doing working
with the airline industry to ensure that flight crews are provided the minimum personal protective
equipment (PPEʻs) while they fly and perform their duties in confined spaces throughout the
aircraft. What are their procedures during their layovers especially those flying to locations with
major outbreaks of the COVID-19 virus?

It is my hope the information I provided in this letter will be immediately discussed and
addressed by your administration and the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency. Just today,
Sunday, March 22, 2020, nearly a hundred flights and hundreds of passengers have come into the
State of Hawaiʻi, many from locations with COVID-19 outbreaks. To not remediate this situation
until 12:01am on March 26, 2020 is to further put the health, safety, and welfare of the residents
of the State of Hawaiʻi at grave risk. Unfortunately for us all, this imminent threat requires
immediate draconian measures. There is no avoiding the reality that further delay in definitive
action will cost lives in the near future.

For the safety of all our families and residents, I implore you to take action immediately.”

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