In an effort to protect itself from new infections, Kauai sought to augment Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program. However, claiming its unnecessary, Gov Ige denies the Kauai two test plan request.
There are growing concerns in Hawaii that our pre-travel testing program, which is being rapidly adopted by airlines, won’t work. And, if it doesn’t work many fear yet another lockdown associated with dire public health consequences. Especially since we have evidence of this from other states and countries that have tried this model before.
Yet, Governor Ige and Lt. Gov. Josh Green both say the concerns are unfounded. At this point, they say nothing is more important than reopening the state. And, for his part, Lt. Gov. Josh Green says we’ll likely see only one infection per 1,000 arrivals. MANY health experts disagree. But, that’s a long discussion that I’ll address in tomorrow’s post.
County Mayors Prefer Two Tests
As a result of the mounting concerns, most of Hawaii’s mayors expressed their preference for a two-test system. However, Kauai’s Mayor Kawakami was the only one to submit a formal plan for the two-test system. Under the proposed rule, those arriving in Kauai wouldn’t not only have to submit a negative result from a test taken within 72 hours of departure. These people would also need to quarantine for three days and then take a second test.
Gov Ige Denies the Kauai Two Test Plan
Governor Ige and Lt. Gov. Green both say the second test is unnecessary and that the quarantine will keep people from coming. Further, they claim that tests are too difficult to obtain for the program to be successful. As a result, they both thought it best to deny Kauai’s two-test plan proposal.
For its part, I’m sure Kauai’s intent is to discourage people from coming to the island. After all, they have a lot to lose right now. Visitors will inevitably bring the virus in to an island that has found success controlling it. And controlling the virus is incredibly important for them. Kauai has only 200 hospital beds.
Beyond the situation on Kauai, the island did find and obtain 15,000 rapid tests to use for its own testing plan. And, you know what? That should last a decent amount of time. Especially since Kauai is the least traveled to island of the four major islands.
I’ll get into why I think Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program will fail tomorrow. BUT, I will say that Kauai is right to further protect itself. They have A LOT to lose if imported cases trigger widespread community spread. They’re all a small island with VERY limited resources. And it’s not like the State can or will help them anyway. And they were able to obtain tests despite what State officials are saying anyway.
The argument made by Lt. Gov. Josh Green saying that we can’t having any discouragements for visitors coming to Hawaii says a lot in of itself. Ultimately, money is more important than health. And that’s a big change in mindset from what Lt. Gov. Green was preaching before.
Yes, we need to rebuild our economy. We need to reopen. But we need to do so in a safe and responsible way. And we’re not doing that. Why is this important? Well, beyond protecting our residents, it’s important to protect the health and safety of our hospitality workers. After all, if too many of them get sick, who’s going to runt he hotels, the restaurants, etc? That’s something our State officials obviously aren’t thinking about. Especially since their plan is still full of holes. What’s more, I’ve lost all respect for Lt. Gov. Green.