The Conversation: Hawaii Island Coronavirus Update From Mayor Harry Kim

Apr 15, 2020

Mayor Harry Kim on Big Island approach to coronavirus; Two plans to reopen Hawaii's economy; With no tourists, scientists study Hanauma Bay; Legislator wants recalled Peace Corps volunteers redirected to COVID-19 response; Peace Corps volunteer from Hilo shares hopes and fears for Madagascar

Mayor Harry Kim on Big Island approach to coronavirus

Mayor Harry Kim talks about his approach to limiting the spread of the coronavirus in Hawaii County, a vast island to cover with limited resources. In Kona, there was a cluster of positive COVID cases traced to two McDonalds restaurants. There are 40 cases reported, but only 11 there are active.

Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki on April 12, 2020
Credit Jason Ubay

Two plans to reopen Hawaii's economy

So far, we've seen two different plans for restarting economic activity in Hawaii. One plan by the University of Hawaii and East-West Center and another plan by HMSA look similar in many ways, though. 

With no tourists, scientists study Hanauma Bay

Scientists say studies being done in the unusual absence of tourists will help them understand the impact of large numbers of people on the natural world. Civil Beat Politics & Opinion Editor Chad Blair tells us about the research at the popular snorkeling spot, which has been closed since March 16. Click here for the story on CivilBeat.org.

Credit Rep. Richard Creagan Facebook

Legislator wants recalled Peace Corps volunteers redirected to COVID-19 response

State Representative Richard Creagan, whose district includes Kailua-Kona, is a former Peace Corps volunteer, and he was disappointed when he heard current volunteers were being sent home as the COVID-19 coronavirus spread across the globe. He's also an emergency room doctor and former vice chief of staff at Kona Community Hospital. Creagan details his plan on redirecting Peace Corps volunteers for the domestic COVID-19 response.

Peace Corps volunteer from Hilo shares hopes and fears for Madagascar

Peace Corps volunteer Kamaka Dias, originally from Hilo, has spent the past three years in Madagascar. But like 1,500 Peace Corps volunteers from Hawaii, he was sent home as the coronavirus pandemic spread. He shared his hopes and fears for the African nation.