Hawai‘i ranked best in the nation for COVID-19 responsePosted on Nov 8, 2022 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main
“Our top priority has been the health and safety of Hawai‘i’s people.” – Governor David Ige
The bottom line: A unified state response, led by the governor and his team, and supported by community leaders and our people, has resulted in a stronger Hawai‘i, better prepared to navigate a post-pandemic world.
In the blur of the past nearly three years, it’s easy to forget how far we’ve come – from knowing nothing about a strange, new coronavirus to transforming our lives to survive. The Commonwealth Fund ranked Hawai‘i best in the nation on overall performance across 56 measures during the pandemic in 2020. As of July 2022, our state had the second lowest number of COVID-19 cases per capita and the second lowest death rate in the nation. And at no time was Hawai‘i’s healthcare system so overwhelmed that it had to turn people away —unlike every other mainland state.
Our success in battling the pandemic was a combination of steadfast local leadership and community collaboration — all of us pulling together to protect and help each other. “The governor always approached issues from the standpoint of what’s good for our people and the state —not only in the here and now, but for future generations,” said Department of Health (DOH) director Dr. Libby Char. DOH collaborated with all sectors of government and the community in campaigns for mask wearing, vaccines, boosters and guidance for schools, businesses healthcare facilities, the visitor industry and more as the state sought ways to help people survive.
To address the pandemic’s economic impacts while still protecting people’s health and safety, the governor and his team implemented the Safe Travels program in collaboration with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, airlines, hotels and many others, successfully screening millions of travelers before entry to the state. The community will never fully know everything our leaders did to keep Hawai‘i safe, but it took all of us working together to make it happen.