Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center Daily News Digest, July 13, 2020

Posted on Jul 13, 2020 in Latest News

Office of the Governor:
Sept. 1 is New Date for Resumption of Trans-Pacific Travel
Calling the delay in re-opening trans-Pacific travel to Hawai‘i a very tough decision, Governor Ige outlined the reasons for changing the date during an afternoon news briefing.

  • Record numbers of new cases in Hawai‘i
  • Large, uncontrolled outbreaks in mainland states
  • Supply chain for testing supplies interrupted because of outbreaks
  • Anticipated uptick in cases when schools reopen

The governor said his decision, discussed during numerous meetings with county mayors over the past week, was between two difficult options. “On one hand we could continue to move forward and re-open the economy but face an uncontrolled surge in COVID-19 cases. On the other, we can delay the pre-travel testing and risk further damage to the economy,” Governor Ige explained. He said this will make the state’s economic recovery more challenging, but the health and safety of Hawai‘i’s residents come first. He again asked everyone to take personal responsibility to help win the battle against coronavirus.

 Pre-Travel Testing Progress Update
Governor Ige also said that the state still believes the pre-travel testing program will help Hawai‘i stay safe. He announced that progress on the program is being made and more details will be in place by Sept. 1. Reiterating the outline of the program:

  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) lab
  • Travelers exempt for mandatory 14-day quarantine if testing negative no more than 72 hours in advance of travel
  • If results are not available by time of arrival, quarantine necessary until test results received
  • All travelers of all ages subject to pre-test requirement
  • Individuals responsible for testing costs
  • No commercial testing provided at Hawai‘i airports

The governor says the pre-test is one part of a multi-layered screening process which includes arrival temperature checks, completion of the State Travel and Health form, and secondary screening for those with symptoms or temperatures of 100.4 degrees or higher.

Governor Appears During House Committee Meeting on COVID-19
Gov. Ige made an appearance at a House Committee meeting on COVID-19 Monday. During his appearance, he expressed his condolences for the families of three individuals who passed away due to COVID-19. Gov. Ige said, “Three reported deaths in the islands. One is a resident who passed away in Arizona. Two others were here in the state. We continue to have among the lowest fatality rates, but every death is a tragedy.” The governor also gave an update on Hawai‘i’s healthcare supply, which remains at 50% capacity. He also showcased the newly revised health dashboard, which can be found here: https://recoverynavigator.hawaii.gov/

Department of Health:
Three Additional COVID-19 Deaths and 86 New Cases Over the Weekend
Three more Hawai‘i residents have died from coronavirus: a man and a woman from O‘ahu and a Kaua‘i man. DOH reports all three individuals were elderly and had underlying medical conditions (more details in the item below). Since last Friday, July 10, the department has recorded 86 new cases.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, July 13, 2020

Island of Diagnosis New Cases Reported since

2/28/2020

(including new cases)

Total Released from Isolation*
O‘ahu 19 942 660
Hawai‘i 1 102 92
Maui 1 133 118
Kaua‘i 0 43 39
Moloka‘i 0 2 2
Lana‘i 0 0 0
Residents Diagnosed outside HI 2 21  
Unknown Residency 0 0  
Total 23 1243  
Total released from isolation   911
Deaths 3 22  

* Includes cases that meet isolation release criteria.  

Laboratory* Testing Data
There were 3,836 additional COVID-19 tests reported via electronic laboratory reporting since Friday, July 10, 2020

Total Number of Individuals Tested

by Clinical and State Laboratories

Positive Negative
96,0790** 1,241 94,814

*Electronic Laboratory Reporting  **15 test results were inconclusive
Hawaiicovid19.com

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

More Deaths and Cases Renew Calls for Safe Practices In Hawai‘i
A tragic reminder of the impact of COVID-19 on individuals and their families are the deaths of three more Hawai‘i residents from coronavirus. The Department of Health’s (DOH) Disease Outbreak Control Division (DOCD) reports an elderly Kaua‘i resident is the 22nd recorded COVID-19 death. This person died out of state, in Arizona, where he had been receiving treatment for several months for underlying medical conditions. The 21st fatality was also reported by DOCD over the weekend. This female died in an O‘ahu hospital Sunday morning and had previously been a resident of a care home. Today DOCD confirmed the 20th death, which occurred on July 7th, as an elderly O‘ahu man with underlying medical issues. His death was added after a review of his health history and discussions with his primary care physician.

State Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson said, “We all extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of these three people. The best tribute to their lives and to the lives of all 22 people who’ve lost the fight against coronavirus, is getting everyone in Hawai‘i to take personal responsibility for their own health and the health of everyone around them.”

Most of the 86 additional cases recorded since last Friday are in previous clusters associated with “community-spread.” For example, a total of 44 cases are associated with a training activity at Hawaiian Airlines, in which a person infected during these meetings, is linked to a cluster of 20 cases involving two O‘ahu gyms. According to State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park, “This clearly shows how easily and quickly this virus can spread from person-to-person and from place-to-place when people are not practicing physical distancing, not wearing masks, not staying home when sick, and possibly not washing their hands frequently and thoroughly.” Health experts urge individuals and our community as a whole to maintain safe practices and encourage others to do so to prevent the continuation of a spike in cases. Saturday had the greatest single-day number of reported cases (42) since DOH began tracking cases in late February.

“While the majority of Hawai‘i’s residents are using safe practices, clearly there are some who are not, and frankly unless everyone pays attention, we’ll unfortunately continue to see illnesses and deaths associated with COVID-19,” Anderson said.

Read the full Joint Information Center News Release here:
https://governor.hawaii.gov/newsroom/latest-news/hawaii-covid-19-joint-information-center-news-release-3-deaths-86-new-cases-renew-calls-for-safe-practices-july-13-2020/

Health Director Again Emphasizes Personal Responsibility
At this afternoon’s news briefing, Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson reiterated the need for everyone to practice personal responsibility in order to flatten the COVID-19 curve and subsequently for Hawai‘i’s economy to begin recovering. “Community spread of coronavirus is increasing and many of these cases are clusters or groups of cases caused by people who chose not to wear a mask or participated in a gathering without physical distancing,” Anderson said. He added, “Disease activity, particularly in Honolulu, is widely circulating and we anticipate hundreds of new cases and additional deaths in the coming weeks, if everyone does not increase their use of masks, staying six-feet apart, and staying home when sick.” He noted that most of the businesses that have re-opened are complying with safe practices and following prevention measures. However, Anderson said, if you see a business not complying, simply chose not to enter. While Hawai‘i continues to have the lowest number of cases and deaths per capita in the nation, in order to maintain our status as the healthiest place in the U.S., Anderson says we  all must be vigilant about wearing masks and physical distancing.

University of Hawai‘i:
New “Modified Quarantine Bubble” Announced for Out-of-State Students
With the governor’s announcement today that the pre-testing travel program will be delayed until Sept. 1 for out-of-state travelers, UH announced that students with a negative test will be able to be in a “modified bubble quarantine.” This means if they get a negative COVID-19 test, they can participate in the “bubble,” and will be allowed to attend university activities only. Other than that, they will have to remain in their residence. They’ll also be required to do daily health checks, in which they will be asked about symptoms such as fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. The modified bubble will last for 14 days, similar to the 14-day quarantine other out-of-state travelers have to follow. Other schools like Hawai‘i Pacific University, Chaminade, and Brigham Young University will offer a similar program. More details are expected to be announced Tuesday, July 14.

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:
2,215 Passengers Arrive on Sunday
Yesterday, a total of 2,215 people arrived in Hawai‘i including 505 visitors and 817 returning residents. There was a total of 26 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 SUNDAY, JULY 12, 2020

  KONA MAUI O‘AHU LĪHUʻE TOTAL
Crew 6 26 254   286
Transit     177   177
Military     162   162
Exempt     200   200
Relocate to Hawai‘i 4 64   68
Returning Resident 26 77 714   817
Visitor 26 33 446   505
GRAND TOTAL 62 136 2,017 0 2,215
Flights 2 4 20 0 26

Monday
https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/media/4867/071320-passenger-count-press-release.pdf

Sunday
https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/media/4862/071220-passenger-count-press-release.pdf

Saturday
https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/media/4861/071120-passenger-count-press-release.pdf

Dan Dennison
Lead Public Information Officer
Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center
[email protected]

Senior Communications Manager
Hawaii Dept. of Land & Natural Resources
Communications Office
[email protected]
(808) 587-0396