LIVE STREAM: Hawai‘i Needs 14-Day Downward Trajectory in New Cases Before Phased Reopening of Economy

April 16, 2020, 2:44 PM HST · Updated April 17, 10:57 AM
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April 16, 2020: COVID-19 News Conference Guest Speakers:- Lieutenant Governor Josh Green• Matthew Koenig, MD, Medical Director, Telemedicine, The Queen's Medical Center• Judy Mohr Peterson, PhD, Med-QUEST Administrator and Hawaii State Medicaid Director, Hawaii Department of Human Services• Jennifer Diesman, Senior Vice President, Hawaii Medical Service Association• Sam Balukoff, Hospital Administrator, Kaiser Permanente• Dr. Lee Buenconsejo-Lum, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine

Posted by Governor David Ige on Thursday, April 16, 2020

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*Video courtesy Gov. David Ige / Facebook

Governor David Ige said that while the number of new cases is promising, the state does not yet qualify for the President’s phased in reopening of the economy. He said Hawaiʻi would need a downward trajectory in cases for a 14-day period.

Gov. Ige said decisions are being made at the local level and meetings are being held regularly with the counties to assess the forecast.  He reiterated that the current stay-at-home orders are focused at the end of April, however constant assessment is being made with any decisions to relax mandates to look at risk versus benefit.

If new cases rise after mandates are relaxed, the state would look at reintroducing social distancing measures.  If other states begin lifting mandates before Hawaiʻi is ready to do so, Gov. Ige said the state is looking at what it can control–and that is the 14-day quarantine.

Gov. Ige said that the FAA has never barred non-essential travel.  He noted that the quarantine has been “the most effective” tool in mitigating incoming cases.  “As long as that quarantine is in place, the number of visitors that are coming here will be a manageable number,” said Gov. Ige.

He said an estimated 225,000 residents have filed for unemployment benefits.  Gov. Ige also said he anticipates a $1.5 billion budget shortfall.

Gov. Ige said he must look at all options including personnel costs, which he said is by far, the largest share of the budget. He said salary reductions and furloughs are the last thing anyone wants to see, and any cuts in pay would start with him and his cabinet members.

Governor David Ige hosts a press briefing this afternoon featuring comments from:

  • Lt. Governor Josh Green
  • Matthew Koenig, MD, Medical Director, Telemedicine, The Queen’s Medical Center
  • Judy Mohr Peterson, PhD, Med-QUEST Administrator and Hawaiʻi State Medicaid Director, Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services
  • Jennifer Diesman, Senior Vice President, Hawaiʻi Medical Service Association
  • Sam Balukoff, Hospital Administrator, Kaiser Permanente
  • Dr. Lee Buenconsejo-Lum, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine
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