Friday, December 3, 2021

Omicron variant detected in Hawaii, Navy works to flush petroleum out of Red Hill drinking water, blizzard warnings for Hawaii peaks, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble   

First Omicron Covid Variant Case Is Detected In Hawaii. The patient was not vaccinated and had no history of out-of-state travel, indicating it’s a case of community transmission, state Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble said. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2. KITV4.

Here’s what we know (and don’t know) about the Omicron mutation.
While counties have eased COVID restrictions, health officials are urging caution as the state reported its first case of the Omicron variant on Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Peer-to-peer carshare Getaround arrives in Hawaii. Getaround, a peer-to-peer carsharing service that allows hosts to rent their cars by the hour, continued its aggressive expansion this week with entry into Hawaii, the 10th state it has expanded to in 2021. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 1 new coronavirus-related death, 126 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 52 new cases on Oahu, 17 on Hawaii Island, 18 on Maui, 34 on Kauai and six Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. One case was removed from the total for Molokai. Star-Advertiser.


Petroleum taints Red Hill well, Navy working to flush out water system. The Navy has determined that its Red Hill drinking water well is contaminated with petroleum. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

HNN sent water from the Navy’s lines to a private lab. The Navy says it’s still waiting for results of its water testing, nearly five days after residents started complaining about a strong fuel-like odor coming from their taps. On Thursday, however, a lab contracted by Hawaii News Now found diesel in a Navy water line sample. Hawaii News Now.

Water Contamination On Military Bases Isn’t New. And That’s A Problem. A 2017 GAO study criticized the Defense Department for poor data reporting on drinking water violations. Civil Beat.

Navy secretary’s plan to visit Oahu raises hopes for Red Hill drinking water solution. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro is expected in Honolulu next week, raising optimism that contaminated water suspected of originating from a Navy fuel storage facility will become a bigger issue. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers look to hotels, nearby schools to shelter families affected by Navy water system. Lawmakers representing areas near the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam highlighted plans Thursday to help families dealing with tainted water. Hawaii Public Radio.


The Search For The Next Honolulu Police Chief Is Still Bogged Down. The Honolulu Police Commission has gone weeks without providing any significant developments in the search for the department’s next chief. Commissioners are starting to question what is taking so long. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Lights returns this weekend. Honolulu Hale will open this weekend for the annual Honolulu City Lights celebration, which was conducted only on a drive-by basis in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Alameda out at Na Leo.
Na Leo TV is undertaking a management change following former CEO Stacy Higa’s guilty plea to federal embezzlement and bribery charges and the subsequent filing of a whistleblower hostile workplace complaint by an employee there. West Hawaii Today.

Flash flood watch issued; blizzard and high wind warnings in effect for summits.
A foot or more of snow is forecast for Big Island summits while flooding could be possible for lower elevations through Monday, the National Weather Service said Thursday.  West Hawaii Today. Tribune-Herald.


Draft management plan details shared. State DLNR discusses draft Honolua to Honokohau Management Plan. A long term management strategy plan is moving ahead to address issues including overuse, stormwater runoff and water quality along the shoreline and upland areas of state lands between Honolua Bay to Honokohau in West Maui. Maui News.

Approaching Weather System Postpones Mahalawa Bridge Work
. The Maui Department of Public Works road closure along Hāna Highway has been postponed. Maui Now.

Four Seasons Resort Maui’s Festive Floral Art Installation by Noah Harders. Approximately 1,500 King Protea, 2,500 Queen Protea, 1,000+ Dried Palms and other dried elements will be used to create this holiday extravaganza. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i restaurants get full-capacity green-light. Kaua‘i restaurants got the green light to operate at 100% capacity beginning Dec. 1, but for some managers the return to full dining spaces isn’t top of mind. Garden Island.

Shipping delays limit free county COVID-19 testing. Due to shipping delays, the testing center at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall and the mobile testing van at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center will have limited testing available today. Garden Island.

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