Kaua‘i Proposes Tiered Reopening Similar to O‘ahu
Kauaʻi Mayor Derek Kawakami is seeking to establish a similar tiered system to the one now in place on Oʻahu.
The proposed Rule 19 includes safeguards to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the event of an increase in cases on Kaua‘i; and allows the island to move forward with the state’s pre-travel testing program on October 15.
Further, it identifies the point at which Kaua‘i would opt out of the state’s pre-travel test plan and continue with the 14-day mandatory quarantine for incoming arrivals if metrics reflect too much risk.
The most restrictive layer would take effect if there is a one-week average of eight or more daily COVID-19 cases on Kauaʻi. Under those conditions, no pre-testing quarantine exemptions would be allowed.
The least restrictive tier represents the current level of cases on Kauaʻi, which is averaging less than two daily active cases. It allows nearly all businesses and activities to operate with minimal restrictions; and utilizes the state’s 72-hour pre-arrival test program to allow transpacific travelers a quarantine exemption.
(Scroll down to see all four tiers proposed for Kaua‘i)
“Many have requested my response to the Governor’s offer for counties to ‘opt out’ of the state’s pre-travel testing program,” said Mayor Kawakami. “It has never been our intention to opt out of the state’s program, but rather to supplement the program in a way that meets our county’s unique needs. We maintain that a pre- and post-arrival testing program is the safest option for our residents and visitors, and we will continue to work with the state to achieve that goal.
“In light of Kaua‘i’s post-arrival testing program (Rule 18) being denied by the Governor earlier this week, we have continued to work with our health officials and other partners to take a phased, responsible approach to reopening our economy while keeping our island safe,” said Mayor Kawakami.
Meantime, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says O‘ahu could move to Tier 2 of a four-tiered reopening strategy in two weeks if the island continues to meet required metrics.
Oahu’s new coronavirus cases need to maintain a seven-day average of under 100, and the average positivity rate must be below 5%.
Tier 2 is more relaxed than the current level and would allow for: restaurant dining of up to five individuals, not necessarily from the same household to eat at the same table; helicopter tours which are currently closed would be able to operate at 50% capacity; legal short-term rentals which are currently closed would be allowed; and gyms and fitness facilities, which are currently only allowed outdoors, would be ale to open at 25% capacity.
If all goes well, the transition on O‘ahu would begin on Oct. 22.
*Video courtesy Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell / Facebook LIVE 10.8.20
• Tier 4 is the least restrictive, and is the current level on Kaua‘i: an average of less than two daily active cases. It allows nearly all businesses and activities to operate with minimal restrictions. It utilizes the state’s 72-hour pre-arrival test program to allow transpacific travelers a quarantine exemption.
Maui Moving Forward with Pre-Travel Testing Program
Mayor Michael Victorino is requesting support from the Governor, visitor industry and businesses to urge transpacific travelers to voluntarily take a second test after they arrive in Maui County, under the State’s pre-travel testing program.
Earlier this week, Mayor Victorino’s request for a mandatory post-arrival test for transpacific travelers starting Oct. 15, was denied by the Governor.
“The State has made it clear that they want to move forward with the pre-travel testing program, without the second test,” Mayor Victorino said. “Many of our businesses and working families are struggling, so we are moving forward with the transpacific program. However, we need to do everything we can to protect our citizens, healthcare resources and especially high-risk populations. We look forward to learning more from the State on the development of its contact tracing app and surveillance testing plan for travelers.”
Mayor Victorino has also requested that Maui County residents traveling solely between Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi would not be subject to quarantine or the pre-travel testing program.
If the request is granted, residents traveling within Maui County would not have to quarantine for 14 days. However, this rule would not apply if any portion of their trip is outside Maui County, such as connecting flights through Oʻahu or Hawaiʻi Island.
“With our case numbers consistently low and many of our Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi residents needing to travel to Maui for resources and services, this change would be a great help for our community,” Mayor Victorino said.
The County of Maui has also requested that interisland travelers be allowed to participate in the pre-travel testing program that starts on Oct. 15. This would allow interisland travelers to be exempt from quarantine if they provide a negative test within 72 hours prior to their departure. Children under the age of 5 would not have to get tested.
Limited quarantine exemptions for critical infrastructure (CISA) functions and essential medical appointments would also continue with requests submitted to the counties.
“If the State is going to allow transpacific travelers the opportunity to avoid quarantine by testing negative, our Hawaiʻi residents should at least have the same opportunity when traveling to other counties,” Mayor Victorino said. “Many of our residents have asked to be included in the program so they can visit family on other islands, which would boost our Kamaʻāina economy.”
Any traveler whose pre-departure test result is not available at the time of arrival, must quarantine at their place of lodging until their negative result is submitted and verified by the State. Travelers awaiting their pre-travel test results may stay at a hotel, motel, short-term rental, Bed & Breakfasts or transient-vacation rental as their place of quarantine.
Travelers who receive a positive test result must immediately report to the Maui District Health Office and follow all directions from the State Department of Health. Travelers would also bear all costs related to their testing, lodging and any associated care.