Thursday, October 8, 2020

Ige says state on track to open Oct. 15 but not all islands are on board, Fauci says wear your mask, Hilo High grad wins Nobel Prize, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Gov. David Ige at Honolulu airport Wednesday

Pre-travel testing program on track. Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday that the state’s pre-travel testing program is on track to start Oct. 15 and will include random COVID-19 testing of 10% of incoming passengers four days after arrival in a move to determine the program’s effectiveness. Star-Advertiser.

Ige: Hawaii Is Still On Track For Oct. 15 Tourism Reopening. Hawaii plans to move forward with a plan to reopen to tourists on Oct. 15, Gov. David Ige said on Wednesday, ending days of uncertainty about the governor’s plan amidst a storm of objections by neighbor island mayors and the Honolulu City councilman who represents Waikiki. Civil Beat.

Ige says traveler testing to launch as scheduled, despite safety concerns. The governor said Wednesday he’s “confident” the state’s much-touted testing plan for trans-Pacific travelers will launch as scheduled Oct. 15, but acknowledged that Neighbor Island mayors still aren’t sold on the safety of the program aimed at rebooting tourism. Hawaii News Now.

Ige says Oct. 15 opening of trans-Pacific travel is essential for state’s economy. Gov. David Ige remained insistent Wednesday that the state is committed to opening up trans-Pacific travel on Oct. 15 without requiring quarantines for arriving passengers who tested negative for COVID-19 by using a “trusted partner” of the state within 72 hours prior to departure. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi Reopening Tourism Update. On Wednesday, State officials unveiled the "trusted testing partners" who can help provide visitors to Hawaiʻi with the necessary, pre-travel test. Big Island Video News.

Gov. Ige Provides Update on October 15 Pre-Travel Testing Program. Gov. Ige said the state does not expect an immediate flood of travelers, but is using Oct. 15 as a deadline to bring testing and contact tracing capabilities to the highest levels of readiness and effectiveness achieved so far. Maui Now.

Post-Arrival Surveillance Testing of Tourists Won’t Carry Quarantine Penalties.
One of the major potential pitfalls of the program is that those people who test positive as part of second-wave surveillance testing won’t be subject to quarantine if they return a positive result. Neither will participants be made aware of their test results unless they explicitly ask for them, under the current configuration of the plan. Big Island Now.

State launches second surveillance testing program. With a week left before reopening, the state is committing to a surveillance testing program that will randomly select 10% of travelers to take a state-funded second test. Garden Island.

County mayors in disagreement over the state’s tourism relaunch plan. Just eight days before Hawaii reopens for trans-Pacific travel, the state is still nailing down key details for its pre-travel testing program, including which counties will drop the 14-day quarantine for visitors who get tested. Hawaii News Now.

Maui, Kauai Weighing Whether To Opt Out Of Pre-Test Program Following Big Island. Maui and Kauai haven’t decided whether they will follow the lead of the Big Island and opt out of the state’s pre-travel testing program, leaving the 14-day quarantine in place. Hawaii Public Radio.

State urged to implement second COVID test or postpone its pre-travel testing reopening. The Honolulu City Council unanimously approved Resolution 20-253, which urges the Governor to adopt and implement a two or more test system for COVID-19 for all incoming passengers who intend to bypass Hawaii’s 14-day quarantine. KITV4.

Maui Moving Forward with Pre-Travel Testing Program. Mayor Michael Victorino is requesting support from the Governor, visitor industry and businesses to urge transpacific travelers to voluntarily take a second test after they arrive in Maui County, under the State’s pre-travel testing program. Maui Now.

Hawaii Island mayor stands behind decision to keep 14-day quarantine in effect. Hawaii island Mayor Harry Kim is standing by his decision not to participate in the state’s pre-travel testing program unless the governor approves a two-test option for the island that has seen coronavirus cases surge in recent weeks. Star-Advertiser.

‘Misinterpreted’ Mayor Kim says he has a commitment of 50,000 visitor arrival COVID-19 tests. “When you come through Hawaii Island you will be going through a second test.” KHON2.

Mayor Harry Kim clarifies his position on state's pre-travel testing program. Seemingly more confusion along with more details released on Wednesday about the state's scheduled reopening of Trans-Pacific travel on October 15th. KITV4.

A week to go, officials weigh-in on reopening. The county has not ruled out opting out of the state’s pre-travel testing program, County of Kaua‘i Managing Director Michael Dahilig briefed the Kaua‘i County Council Wednesday. Garden Island.

Inter-island travelers want option to bypass quarantine similar to pre-travel testing program. While the state is preparing for mainland visitors to come in with the pre-travel testing program set to launch on Oct. 15, many are questioning why inter-island travelers don’t have the same option. KHON2.


Fauci: Hawaii can reopen to tourists, but should do so gradually and carefully. As the state prepares to launch a pre-travel coronavirus testing program next week, it’s inevitable that COVID-infected people will slip through the cracks and into Hawaii, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert said Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says prudent measures needed for Hawaii tourism to recover.  Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, also said Hawaii can revive its tourism- dependent economy if done prudently and carefully. Star-Advertiser.

Green talks COVID-19, tourism with Fauci. “The reality is, no matter what you do, there are going to be infected people who slip through the cracks,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, about the planned Oct. 15 reopening of Hawaii to tourism. Tribune-Herald.


Surgeon General Jerome Adams responds to Hawaii emergency order citation. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams spoke publicly for the first time on Oct. 7 about getting a COVID-19 emergency order citation when he was on Oahu in August. KHON2.

Uncertainty lingers over safety of welcoming back students to in-person learning. With classes resuming for public school students on Monday, the Department of Education has yet to release a clear plan for reopening classrooms to in-person learning. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii House Lawmakers Look To Capture Open Senate Seats. Rep. Chris Lee, a Windward Oahu lawmaker and chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Joy San Buenaventura, who represents Puna and chairs the House Human Services and Homelessness Committee, are both leaving the House for the chance to win seats left open by the departures of Sens. Laura Thielen and Russell Ruderman, who are not seeking reelection. Civil Beat.

New Fees Go Into Effect at State Parks on Friday. Park Visitors will now pay $10 per vehicle and $5 for walk-ins at eight parks on the four major islands. Previously fees were $5 per vehicle and $1 for walk-in visitors. Maui Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 7: 110 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Of the new cases diagnosed, 18 were on Hawaii island. Two Hawaii residents were diagnosed out of state. The remaining new cases were reported on Oahu. Civil Beat.


City Council passes entrance fee increase at Hanauma Bay. Two Honolulu City Council measures to help restoration efforts at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, including a significant increase in entrance and parking fees for visitors, were passed on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

City Leaders Advance Bill To Withdraw Rail Construction Dollars. The Honolulu City Council took a notable first step Wednesday toward revoking the city’s remaining $144 million that has been committed to help complete rail. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Candidates Say They’d Finish Rail As Planned But Not How They’d Pay For It. But the situation with the more than $9 billion project is so fluid right now that both Amemiya and Blangiardi struggle to say how they’ll handle it. Civil Beat.

Rick Blangiardi shares ‘90 Day Roadmap to Recovery’ that calls for accountability, new oversight. The plan calls for new job descriptions for city officials, greater accountability and pledges to work cooperatively with state officials, the City Council and other critical officials should he be elected mayor on Nov. 3. Star-Advertiser.

Ko Olina bans public from lagoon beaches. Ko Olina Resort plans to ban the public from using three of its four lagoons starting next month, reserving their use for hotel guests and condominium owners. Star-Advertiser.

More LED lights to be installed at city parks under new energy efficiency initiative. The City and County of Honolulu launched a new initiative on Wednesday designed to ramp up efficiency efforts at parks and facilities across Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Police Chief: Case Closure Stats Are Not As Bad As They Look. HPD’s chief rejects FBI data that shows the department is failing to solve the vast majority of crimes but said she is taking steps to improve the clearance rate anyway. Civil Beat.

Board of Water Supply asks Oahu residents to conserve water due to drought conditions
. For the past five months, officials said rainfall has been less than 50% of the normal average on Oahu, which prevents the adequate recharge of the isle’s aquifers. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 case forces closure of Kapolei Satellite City Hall, but Kapolei Hale remains open. The Satellite City Hall at Kapolei Hale is closed for deep cleaning and the remaining employees are in self-quarantine, city officials said today.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hilo High graduate one of 2 Nobel Prize winners in chemistry. Hilo is all abuzz about one of its own, Jennifer A. Doudna, sharing the Nobel Prize in chemistry with co-researcher Emanuelle Charpentier of France. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo High graduate Jennifer A. Doudna wins Nobel in chemistry. Jennifer A. Doudna, who grew up on the Big Island, became the second female scientist in two days with ties to that island to receive a Nobel Prize. Associated Press.

Jennifer Doudna Wins 2020 Nobel Prize In Chemistry. Doudna, who grew up in Hilo, shares the prize with colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier for their genome editing breakthrough that has revolutionized biomedicine. Big Island Video News.

Challenges remain in response to Life Care Center COVID outbreak.
Although an extensive COVID-19 response plan has been in place at Life Care Center of Hilo since the early days of the pandemic, staff and administrators are still working to contain an outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Tribune-Herald.


Panel denies 59-unit Olowalu housing project. An Olowalu housing project awash with debate was voted down by the County Council Affordable Housing Committee in a close 5-4 decision on Monday. Maui News.

Maui planning commissioner at center of debate over alleged shoreline pollution. On Maui, multiple state and county agencies are investigating alleged pollution at Olowalu on the west shore. At the center of the controversy is the chair of the county’s planning commission. Hawaii News Now.

7 more Roselani residents test positive. Seven more residents at Roselani Place have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total case count to 36 residents and 31 staff, Roselani Place management said Tuesday. Maui News.

Ka‘ahumanu Theatres are planning to reopen Friday. The movie theaters at Queen Ka’ahumanu Shopping Center will reopen Friday after Maui County gave cinemas the green light to resume operations. Maui News.


Pacific Current purchases Port Allen Solar facility on Kauai from A&B. Pacific Current and its wholly owned subsidiary, Kaieie Waho Company, LLC, acquired the Port Allen Solar facility on Kauai from Alexander & Baldwin, Inc.’s McBryde Sugar Company, LLC. Pacific Business News.

Celebrating late Senator Spark ‘Sparky’ Matsunaga. Celebrate the 104th birthday of former U.S. Senator Spark “Sparky” Matsunaga in a garden made in his honor, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at Storybook Theatre of Hawai‘i in Hanapepe. Garden Island.

A Labor of Love at the Friendship House. Friendship House is a Clubhouse Model Psychiatric Rehabilitation program, providing mental health services to adults with mental illness on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.


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