Posted on Dec 15, 2020 in COVID-19, COVID-19 News Releases, Latest Department News, Newsroom

Governor’s Office:

Safe and Effective COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives in Hawai‘i 

Gov. Ige announced, late yesterday, the arrival of Hawaiʻi’s first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines. This initial delivery of 975 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, marks an important milestone in the ongoing effort to combat coronavirus and return life to normal. Delivery of the remaining 3,900 doses of Hawaiʻi’s prepositioning order is expected tomorrow.

Almost 45,000 additional doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are expected to arrive in Hawaiʻi this month. Pending approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as many as 36,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are expected by the end of the year.

Health care workers at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 and residents of long-term care facilities will be the first to receive the vaccine.

“It is gratifying to be able to offer the vaccine to health care workers who have sacrificed so much to protect all of us,” said Gov. Ige. “The vaccine provides another important layer of protection to safeguard our kūpuna and others in long-term care facilities.”

“The vaccine is a major tool in combating COVID-19 and it is critical we continue to use all the tools at our disposal,” said Health Director Dr. Libby Char. “We still do not know whether a person who has been vaccinated can carry the virus and infect others. We do not know how long the vaccine will confer immunity. Until these questions are answered, we must continue to protect ourselves and the people we love by wearing face masks and physical distancing,” Char added. See the full release here:

Department of Health:


 57 New COVID-19 Cases Reported Statewide

DOH is reporting 57 additional coronavirus cases today. This report includes cases up until Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Full data is posted on the State COVID-19 dashboard and on the DOH Disease Outbreak & Control website at noon each day. hawaiicovid19.com/dashboard 

 Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 11:59 p.m. Dec. 13, 2020

Island of Diagnosis New Cases Reported since


(including new cases)

O‘ahu 35 16,458
Hawai‘i 10 1,743
Maui 8 714
Kaua‘i 0 134
Moloka‘i 0 22
Lānaʻi 0 106
HI residents diagnosed outside of HI 4 303
Total Cases 57 19,480++
Deaths    0 274

++ As a result of updated information, one case on Maui was removed from the counts.

Hospitalizations as of 12:00 p.m. on Dec. 14, 2020 – Hawai‘i-3, Maui-4, O‘ahu-50, Kaua’i‘-0 


DOH and C&C Conduct Vaccine Distribution Exercise

On Monday, DOH and the City and County of Honolulu conducted a vaccination distribution exercise to simulate standing up vaccine clinics to immunize first responders and essential workers in the Phase 1 priority group. This includes essential healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents and staff, and first responders. This exercise is the first of a number of drills planned statewide in every county to prepare to safely and efficiently administer the vaccine.

“The state has been conducting medical countermeasure distribution exercises and vaccination clinics for years, and our training and planning with public and private stakeholders is making a huge difference,” said Judy Kern, chief of the DOH Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness. “We greatly appreciate the City and County of Honolulu, and the counties of Hawai‘i, Maui and Kaua‘i for their strong commitment to ensuring our first responders and other essential workers have access to the vaccine in a convenient and organized manner.”

“While hospitals and healthcare facilities are focused on vaccinating their workers and may act as community hubs for various phases of the state vaccination plan, the City is working with DOH to ensure we are taking care of our first responders,” said Hiro Toiya, director of the City and County of Honolulu Department of Emergency Management. “We are doing all we can to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine is available to those at highest risk as we prepare for the first phase of the vaccination plan for Oahu.”

While there is no plan to mandate the vaccine, the DOH is strongly encouraging that people, particularly essential healthcare workers, get vaccinated once doses are available. Read more here: https://hawaiicovid19.com/hawaii-department-of-health-and-city-county-of-honolulu-conduct-training-exercise-for-vaccine-distribution/

DOH and UH Release Infographic on Impacts on Behavioral Health

The Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup has released this information on the worsening impact of COVID-19 on behavioral health across the state.

Department of Public Safety:

Inmate and Staff Testing Continues

Surge testing of inmates and staff at facilities statewide is continuous. Halawa Correctional Facility (HCF) reports five (5) additional active positive staff cases and one (1) positive inmate case. The positive staff count is 33 and the inmate total is 168. (As a result of updated information, two (2) inmates were removed from the active count.) Waiawa Correctional Facility (WCF) reports 18 negative test results. In addition, there were 16 inmate recoveries bringing the total active inmate cases down to 20 with two (2) inmates hospitalized. The Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) reported 5 negative inmate test results. There are only three (3) active positive inmates at OCCC. For more information on PSD’s planning and response efforts to COVID-19:


Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i:

COVID-19 Holiday Messaging

As we enter the holiday season during these unprecedented times, we want everyone to celebrate in a safe way. Prevention is very important in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

See the messages from HAH, in the link below. Please encourage everyone to keep their gatherings small over the holidays, and to practice COVID safety measures such as masking up, social distancing, and not sharing utensils. Messages available in 16 languages at: hah.org

Department of Land and Natural Resources:

Diamond Head State Monument Slated to Reopen on Thursday

Diamond Head State Monument’s (DHSM) unprecedented closure, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, comes to an end on Thursday, Dec. 17, exactly nine months since the gates were closed. The reopening comes with a new set of rules to best ensure health and safety protocols.

The trickiest place on the trail in which to practice coronavirus safety precautions is the narrow, 200-foot-long tunnel near the top of the trail. Visitors must wear masks in the tunnel and attempt to stay six feet apart from other hikers. State Parks has installed new signs to remind visitors of all public health safety requirements. Staff is also asking visitors to be considerate all along the trail and at the summit and to not linger long for photos. See the full news release and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) here: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/blog/2020/12/15/nr20-195/

Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority:

7,663 Passengers Arrive on Sunday

Yesterday, a total of 7,663 people arrived in Hawai‘i from out of state. A total of 2,902 people indicated they came to Hawai‘i for vacation. There were also 1,544 returning residents. The trans-Pacific passenger arrival data is derived from data provided by the Safe Travels digital system.

To view more: https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/covid-19-updates/trans-pacific-passenger-arrivals/

Helpful Resources

Trusted Testing and Travel Partners:

The state of Hawai‘i only accepts Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) lab test results from Trusted Testing and Travel Partners. For the full list of domestic trans-Pacific, inter-county, international and airline partners or information on how to become a Trusted Testing Partner, go to:


Safe Travels Hawai‘i Program:
Program overview: https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/

FAQs: https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/faqs/ 

Email: [email protected]

Call Center Number: 1-800-GO-HAWAII

COVID-19 Expanded Dashboard (Tables, Charts, and Visualizations):


Safe Travels Digital Platform:


Trans-Pacific Passenger Arrivals Statistics:


Kaua‘i County:
Kaua‘i COVID-19 webpage: https://www.kauai.gov/COVID-19
To report violators: https://www.kauai.gov/KPD-Online-Reporting 

Rest, Test, Enjoy! Voluntary visitor post-travel test: https://www.kauai.gov/visitorposttest 

Resident post-travel test: https://www.kauai.gov/residentposttest

Maui County:
Maui County travel and COVID-19 information:

To report violators: (808) 244-6400 or [email protected]

Hawai‘i County:
Hawai‘i County COVID-19 webpage:

Critical infrastructure and medical travel request: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/e2f4ce19aa854964a8fd60bec7fbe78c 
To report violators: 808-935-3311

City & County of Honolulu:
Honolulu COVID-19 webpage: oneoahu.org
Interisland passengers arriving on O‘ahu are not subject to the mandatory quarantine.
To report violators: 808-723-3900 or [email protected]

Media Contact:

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center

(808) 636-8194 

[email protected]