The Latest: 230 New Cases, 1 New Death; Gov. Ige Extends Emergency Order; 'Resort Bubble' Update
Updated 8/21/20, 1:45 p.m.
Governor David Ige extended his COVID-19 emergency order until September 30. This extends the state's requirement for facial coverings in compliance with county rules, the 14-day quarantine for transpacific and certain interisland travel, and rental eviction moratorium.
Resort bubbles being considered on Kauai and Maui
Hawaii's mayors will now have an option of trying a different approach to tourism.
Governor David Ige is allowing the counties to experiment with what are called "resort bubbles." The idea would be to isolate visitors in certain resorts -- not allowing them off the property.
Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami is exploring the idea, which would use the concept of geo-fencing. Each visitor would wear a tracking device that would send a signal to law enforcement if the person wandered away from the resort.
"If somebody tries to take this band off, it'll also ping the resort security, as well as our local law enforcement personnel," Kawakami said. "Coupled with that, we are also working with a Hawaii-based group on digital contact tracing. Folks, these are all layers of protective measures. What we're trying to do is mitigate risk."
Kawakami says there is no timeline of when such a system could be put into operation, although he says that early testing "show great promise."
Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino also did not give further details of when a resort bubble would happen within the county.
"We are stuck beteween a rock and a hard place when it comes to balancing our physical and economic health, and clearly health and safety are paramount," Kawakami said. "We know the 14-day quarantine has helped keep the virus at bay, but that comes with a cost."
Where we stand
The Hawaii Department of Health reported 1 death and 230 new COVID-19 cases today. That brings the state's total to 6,072 and total deaths to 46. Of the new cases, 207 are on Oahu, 6 in Maui County, 2 on Kauai, and 13 on Hawaii Island.
The total cases now include 5,547 on Oahu, 177 on Hawaii Island, 269 in Maui County, and 56 on Kauai. 23 cases were diagnosed out of state.
Kim submits request to reduce size of gatherings
Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim has requested Governor David Ige approve his latest county order to limit the size of gatherings.
Rule 11 would limit the group sizes of social gatherings to 10 people indoors and outdoors, reduce the size of sports practices to 25 (down from 35), and limit the size of competitive play to 50 people (down from 100).
It also requests extending the county's COVID-19 emergency period to September 30 and continue self-quarantine requirements for all travel to Hawaii Island.
"We all need to work together to stem the tide of cases in Hawaii County, to protect our community," said Kim. "Please know that we can all do our part to make it better, by avoiding gatherings, wearing face coverings, and practice social distancing.
"This is a community issue, and we need the community's help. Our response to any positive cases is to identify and isolate the people inovlved."
Drive-thru COVID testing this weekend on Oahu
Three drive-thru COVID-19 testing events are being held this weekend at Geiger Community Park, Kakaako Waterfront Park and Wahiawa District Park on Oahu.
Testing at Geiger Community Park in Ewa on Saturday, August 22 will be done by Kalihi Kai Urgent Care from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Premier Medical Group will conduct the Kakaako Waterfront Park drive-thru on Sunday, August 23 from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Kalihi Kai Urgent Care will also conduct testing at Wahiawa Dstrict Park on Sunday, August 23 from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Participants should follow the posted signs to the test area. All who attend will first be screened and asked to provide personal information and contact numbers so results can be made known to them.
For more information on the testing, contact Premier Medical Group Hawaii, at (808) 304-8816 or (808) 367-6020, and Kalihi Kai Urgent Care, at (808) 841-2273.
Consolidated Theatres reopens select locations
Reading International, which owns and operates Consolidated Theatres, announced it is reopening four Oahu locations today. Ward Village, Town Center at Mililani, Pearlridge Center and Olino at Ka Makana Alii are the first locations the movie theater chain is reopening, with more locations opening at a later date.
Movie theaters have been shut down since March due to the pandemic. But were allowed to reopen in June.
In a release, Consolidated Theatres outlined several policies and procedures to keep the community safe.
- Masks or facial coverings are required for all guests and staff.
- Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, eiher online or through the Consolidated Theatres mobile app. Only credit, debit, or gift cards will be accepted.
- Guests are to arrive no earlier than 30 minutes before their showtimes -- in order to limit theatre capacity.
- Guests are required to sit in their assigned seats, and capacity will be limited in the auditoriums. Ticket purchases for each party will automatically account for two additional open seats on either side of each individual group. A maximum of five guests will be permitted to sit together in any group.
- There will be increased sanitization will take place regularly, with extra sanitization at high-touch point areas. And recliner seating and personal tray tables will be disinfected after each use.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the theatre.
- To improve air quality, Consolidated Theatres has upgraded all HVAC filters and increased maintenance frequency.
Production of TV show delayed
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino announced yesterday that production for the reality television show "Temptation Island" has been delayed due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns.
The show was granted to film at the Andaz Maui at Wailea resort.
"This was a very difficult decision due to the financial impacts to our local union film workers and hotel workers, as well as to the film production company," Victorino said. "However, considering the recent surge in cases on our island, all parties agreed to delay the show before production began."