Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center Daily News Digest, August 18, 2020Posted on Aug 18, 2020 in Latest Department News
Governor Approves Honolulu Modified Restrictions,Trans-Pacific Travel Delayed
Governor Ige approved Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s latest emergency orders that returns O‘ahu to the Act Now Honolulu-No Social Gatherings, from the Act with Care phase to try and flatten the recent surge in COVID-19 cases on the island. The governor also announced a delay in the resumption of trans-Pacific travel and said it will be delayed from a Sept. 1 start to at least Oct.1, at the earliest. He said the reopening, along with pre-travel testing protocols will be announced well in advance to allow businesses to prepare for the return of visitors. Governor Ige said that Neighbor island 14-day quarantine remains in place. He says the State is carefully monitoring the healthcare system as it is experiencing some stress, but remains well positioned to respond to the coronavirus cases being seen currently
Mayor Caldwell Outlines Act Now Honolulu-No Social Gatherings Order
Mayor Caldwell said at the news briefing that county and state leaders discussed the modified restrictions for O‘ahu over the past five days, trying to decide whether to use a scalpel or a hammer. “We’ve chosen a scalpel,” Caldwell said. Key changes from the previous restrictions, going into effect at midnight tomorrow (Wednesday) include:
- No indoor or outdoor gatherings for the next 28 days
- No parties larger than 5 people
- Face coverings required at all shopping malls
- Face coverings required at all in-person spiritual services, no singing, no wind instruments
- No groups larger than 5 at restaurants (down from 10)
- Outdoor attractions, recreational and commercial boating-no groups larger than 5
- No social gatherings are permitted in businesses
- Businesses encouraged to reduce employee numbers on-site by encouraging tele-commuting or staggered work schedules.
- No groups larger than 5 at museums and movie theatres
- Bars, beaches, parks, trails, remained closed
Governor Ige, Mayor Caldwell, and Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson all say they feel these modified restrictions will lead to a steady decline in the number of cases on O‘ahu over the next few weeks.
Department of Health:
134 New Cases Show Possible Flattening of Curve
One Additional Death Brings Total to 41
An O‘ahu man, 40-59 years-old, with underlying health conditions is the 41st COVID-19 death since the start of the pandemic. DOH extends its sympathies, along with all of Hawai‘i, to the family and friends of the latest coronavirus victim. DOH reports 134 new positive cases. This is the second lowest daily case count since August 2 and DOH cautions, this is only one day and may not be a trend. DOH continues to track cases and will report progress. Increasing everyone’s use of safe practices – physical distancing, wearing masks, and staying home if sick, will reduce the spread of the virus and bring the state closer to rebuilding the economy.
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, August 18, 2020
|Island of Diagnosis||New Cases||Reported since
(including new cases)
|HI residents diagnosed outside of HI||0||23|
Hospitalization count as of 8/17/20 at 5:30 pm: 5-Hawai‘i, 12-Maui, 187-O‘ahu, 1-Kaua‘i
Laboratory* Testing Data
There were 1,914 additional COVID-19 tests reported via electronic laboratory reporting.
|Total Number of Individuals Tested
by Clinical and State Laboratories
*Electronic Laboratory Reporting **25 test results were inconclusive
For more tables, charts and visualizations visit the DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division: https://health.hawaii.gov/coronavirusdisease2019/what-you-should-know/current-situation-in-hawaii
Health Director Discusses Absence
State Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson discussed media reports about his absence at today’s news briefing. He said, “I know many of you have been asking about the brief rest break I took last week for a few days. Let me explain that I needed some time to rest and rejuvenate, and I appreciate the Governor granting me that brief time to rest, since we have all been at this non-stop since the pandemic began. Let me reassure you that I am at work, directing the Department of Health’s response and Dr. Sarah Park is at work continuing to guide our disease outbreak control measures. We all need a break periodically to keep working at our optimum level and to be effective.”
Anderson added that while the high number of cases is concerning, Hawai‘i is seeing a leveling or plateauing of the numbers and they do not appear to be rising or increasing at this time. He calls this a hopeful development but reminded everyone that case numbers can increase quite quickly. He said, “When we all work together to reduce the spread of the virus, we will see a decrease in the number of new positive cases. City & County of Honolulu restrictions and enhanced enforcement will also help, and it may be a few weeks before we see the results of those actions.”
Anderson concluded that there is no amount of contact tracing that can reduce the number of cases if, first, people continue to spread the disease by gathering and not using masks or physical distancing. Many of the cases being investigated now are people who attended multiple large gatherings and then proceeded to work while ill. They folks let their guard down and spread the virus throughout O‘ahu. Anderson said, “Together, we can bring the numbers down by not gathering and avoiding close contact with others. Businesses who control their customer interaction will help to control the spread.
Now workplaces and office spaces must also support their employees in keeping their guard up especially during rest times, breaks, and socializing.”
DOH continues to work with the counties to conduct outreach and other measures to support those who are affected at a higher rate by COVID-19 in Hawai‘i such as Pacific Islanders and large families who live in crowded conditions.
Department of Public Safety:
COVID-19 Update for 8/18/20
Thirty-four (34) additional Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) inmates and 4 staff tested positive for COVID-19. PSD coordinated with the Department of Health (DOH) to conduct mass testing of all OCCC inmates in each of 19 individual housing units.116 more inmate test results were received today. 34 were positive and 82 were negative. All remaining inmates will be tested in the coming days. 16 OCCC staff test results have also been reported. Four (4) were positive, 11 negative and 1 inconclusive.
Total PSD positive COVID-19 test results as of 8/18/20
* Numbers are subject to change as pending results are received.
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:
2,305 Passengers Arrive on Monday
Yesterday, a total of 2,305 people arrived in Hawai‘i including 543 visitors and 748 returning residents. There was a total of 31 arriving flights. This table shows the number of people who arrived by air from out of state yesterday but does not show interisland travel.
AIRPORT ARRIVALS FOR MONDAY, AUGUST 17, 2020
|Relocate to Hawai‘i||17||20||297||3||337|
Department of Transportation:
HDOT Moves: New Podcast Features Transportation Related Topics
DOT is launching a new podcast about the systems moving and connecting our island communities. The podcast is called HDOT Moves and will feature discussions on topics relating to transportation and will be uploaded on a monthly basis. The first episode focuses on public transportation and pandemics and can be found at https://anchor.fm/hidot
“With the number of cars on the road still tracking roughly 20-percent below typical volumes and classrooms opening virtually we wanted to take a different approach to the start of the school year,” said DOT Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “We’re lucky to have two extremely knowledgeable guests, Dr. Brian Wu from HMSA and Jon Nouchi, Deputy Director of the City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services, for our first podcast. Dr. Wu and Jon share how to reduce risks while using public transportation.”
In consideration of continued lower than normal traffic volumes and distance learning models being applied around the state, DOT will not suspend road work on O‘ahu for the first week of school as it has traditionally done for Beat the School Jam. Instead, crews will continue construction related road closures to improve the highway facilities. To see scheduled road work for state routes, visit https://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/roadwork/
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center
Lead Public Information Officer
Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center
Senior Communications Manager
Hawaii Dept. of Land & Natural Resources