Maui County Travel Update: 2,447 Average Daily Arrivals Over First Four Days Since Reopening
By Wendy Osher
Maui County Travel Update
Maui County saw average daily arrivals jump to 2,447 in the first four days since the state launched it’s pre-travel COVID-19 testing program on Oct. 15. That’s up from the average daily 530 travelers logged in the 12 days prior between Oct. 3 and 14, before the reopening program took effect; but less than half of the 5,590 average daily domestic arrivals reported in Maui County over the same four days last year.
While the first half of the month was dominated by residential arrivals, a stark shift to visitor arrivals occurred upon the program’s launch.
Under the program, trans-Pacific travelers can take a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a testing partner approved by the state within 72 hours from the final leg of departure to Hawaiʻi; and if given a negative result for COVID-19, are allowed to bypass the state’s 14-day mandatory quarantine.
Over the Friday to Sunday (Oct. 16 to 19) weekend travel period, a total of 8,247 passengers arrived in Maui County, according to data from the State of Hawaiʻi Safe Travels Application. This included 6,401 visitors and 1,946 residents.
The breakdown by destination included: 5,435 arriving in Kahului; 61 landing in Molokaʻi; and 23 traveling to Lānaʻi City Airport.
Based on airport screening and temperature checks over the three day period, 99.9% of travelers arrived healthy to Maui County; 83% arrived with a negative pre-departure test; 17% of travelers stopped in transit; 12% of travelers were required to quarantine (including travelers awaiting their pre-departure test results); and 5% were inter-county travelers with work exemptions.
Maui Managing Director Sandy Baz said, “only a very small percentage of travelers coming into Maui County had elevated temperature or self-reported that they weren’t feeling well. These travelers are ordered to follow all directions from the State Department of Health’s Maui District Health Office.”
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino addressed public concerns about reports of long lines at the airport holding area. “The main reason is the number of people coming off the planes–especially when we have a compact of three or four flights within a two hour period of time. They’re getting 150-200 people coming off of a plane, some within 10-20 minutes of each other.”
“One of the suggestions… is having separate lines or express lines for those who already have all the necessary/correct paperwork. As we progress, we are moving in that direction. Last week was a little challenging because of what they call “untrusted” partners or those that weren’t approved. This week we’re moving to get those rectified so that when people arrive, if you have the proper QR code and you’re all set, you’re probably going to one line. If you’re not, then you’re going into another; or those who are going into 14-day quarantine that decided not to (take a pre-travel test),” which the mayor says represents about 10 to 15 percent of arrivals.
Mayor Victorino said there’s also lots of complaints about visitors being out-and-about and not wearing masks. “Yes, I’ve seen it. I’ve actually approached a few of them,” said Mayor Victorino, noting that some were not aware, while others provided explanations that they left their mask in the car or other location. “I said, no excuses are necessary. Please go get them. And they did.”
All travelers must follow the County of Maui’s Public Health Emergency Rules which includes the mandatory use of face masks in public. The County of Maui provided the following highlights:
All Travelers Must Wear Face Masks
- Face masks must be worn in public.
- No social gatherings of more than 10 people.
- Keep at least six feet away from others.
- If you’re sick, stay at home or your hotel.
Inter-County (Interisland) Trusted Testing Partners
The State of Hawaii has eight “trusted testing partners” for inter-county (interisland) travel. This includes:
- Clinical Laboratories of Hawaiʻi
- CVS Health (Longs)
- Hawaiʻi Pacific Health
- Kaiser Permanente (for members only)
- Minit Medical
- Urgent Care Hawaiʻi
- Vault Health
Maui County residents can use these testing partners for their travel within Hawaiʻi to be exempt from the 14-day quarantine. View the full list of Trusted Testing and Travel Partners at hawaiicovid19.com/travel-partners.
Medical Travel Exemption
As announced last week, Maui County residents traveling for medical appointments are exempt from quarantine and don’t have to take a pre-departure test. The medical exemption is only for same day or overnight travel.
Travelers do not need to apply for a quarantine exemption, but must present their flight itinerary and doctor’s letter with date of appointment to screeners on arrival.
If the medical traveler needs a travel companion, this person must be specifically named in the doctor’s letter. This exemption does not apply to any non-medical related purposes.
NOTE: Anyone not subject to quarantine may travel solely between Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi without having to take a pre-departure test.
Maui County Status Update (as of Oct. 19, 2020)
• Daily Cases: 0.26 per 100,000 perday (7-day rolling average)
• Virus Control:Test Positivity Rate of 0.1% (7-day rolling average)
• 41% of ICU beds are in use and none for COVID
• 18% of ventilators are in use and none for COVID
• Hospitalizations and active cases in isolation are both down.