Hawaii Updates: Interisland Travel Form Now Available; 5 New Cases; Arrivals Near 2,000

Jun 14, 2020

Updated: 6/14/2020, 1:20 p.m.

The state has posted the new interisland travel and health form that must be downloaded and filled out before a flight between the islands.

Starting Tuesday, the quarantine for interisland travel is being lifted as part of the state's phased reopening, but the form and other procedures are required.

The form is available at https://health.hawaii.gov/travel, along with other instructions, which include:

• Twenty-four hours before flight, check in with your airlines and fill out the mandatory travel and health form and bring it along with you.

• Three hours before flight, enter the health screening checkpoint at the airport where your temperature will be checked. Anyone with a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit will not be allowed to board. Complete the TSA check.

• On the flight, follow the airlines rules on wearing masks, physical distancing and sanitation procedures.

• On deplanning, follow the airlines requirements for wearing masks and physical distancing.
 

“We all must continue the safe practices that led to the decision to resume interisland travel," said state Epidemiologist Sarah Park in a news release Sunday. "These safe practices: physical distancing, using masks in public, washing our hands, and staying home when sick, are just as important now, as they were three months ago.” 

Where we stand

The Hawaii Department of Health reported 5 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. Four are on Oahu and one on the Big Island. The increase follows Saturday's 17 new cases and Friday's 15 new infections.

After adjusting for updated testing information, the number of COVID-19 cases statewide now stands at 728. The number of deaths remains at 17.

The case count for Oahu is at 493, Maui County at 120, Hawaii County at 82 and Kauai County at 21. Some 629 people have been released from isolation.

“We always knew with the reopening of activities and businesses across the state we would see increases in coronavirus infections," State Epidemiologist Sarah Park said in a news release Saturday.

"Two of the cases reported today did require hospitalization but our statewide bed capacity remains strong.  However, these new cases are reminders for all of us to maintain safe practices to prevent even higher case surges which could threaten our state’s healthcare capacity.”

All but one of Saturday's cases are Oahu adults. Two of the new cases are part of a household cluster in Waipahu that now numbers 12. 

About 300 residents in surrounding households have been tested and screened. All have tested negative, other than those in the single household.

On Friday, Gov. David Ige also said the increase was expected as the state reopens in phases.

"Just want to asssure everyone that it is a manageable number that we have prepared for," Ige said during an online press conference Friday. He said the number of cases will gradually increase with the easing of restrictions and hospital officials have been monitoring the activity. Hospital utilization is low enough that the state feels it can comfortably deal with the higher numbers of cases.

Ige also said, unlike some other states, Hawaii has kept number of cases down in senior care facilities. Only one Maui patient has been reported positive with the virus, apart from several employees who have contracted the virus.

Yesterday's Hawaii Updates: 17 New Cases Spark Renewed Call For Caution; Chief: HPD Not In Need Of Major Reform

On Thursday, Hawaii saw 7 new cases, prompting Lt. Gov. Josh Green to say they were part of a Memorial Day bump that came after the holiday gatherings. He also said the local Black Lives Matter demonstrations were peaceful, but people were together.

"So we're going to see those numbers kinda be up more than usual," Green said on his Instagram page. He said the new cases were likely those who came into contact with asymptomatic people.

But Health Director Bruce Anderson said Friday at the governor's press conference that the department has no evidence that any of the recent cases were the result of Memorial Day or BLM crowds.

He said 10 of Friday's 15 new cases came from the one Waipahu household where there was one previously infected adult. Anderson said the family lived in close quarters in a home with two bedrooms. Those infected have been placed in quarantine, he said. 

He said there are locations in all counties for those who need to quarantine outside of their homes. In the latest case, the department is looking at moving those in the household not infected to a hotel to isolate them from those who are sick.

All of Friday's new cases -- 6 children and 9 adults -- are on Oahu. Anderson said the state has been conducting outreach on Oahu in low-income parts of Kalihi, Palolo, and Waipahu to follow up on cases and provide education about the virus.

Green said when Hawaii opens up to travel to the Mainland, officials have to be mindful of the recent surge in positive cases in states such as California, Arizona, Utah, South Carolina and Texas.

He said Hawaii will have testing in advance and "it will be very well done." According to Green, the state will partner with CVS as part of a large alliance and he's hoping for approval soon.

In a research paper issued earlier this month, University of Hawaii and East-West Center researchers said pre-departure symptom screening together with COVID-19 testing of tourists could eliminate 80 to 90 percent of infectious passengers.

Symptom screening alone, they said, would introduce 750 additional coronavirus cases into Hawaii based on 6,000 daily visitors.

Officials urged residents to continue taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including using frequent handwashing, face masks and practicing social distancing.

--HPR News Staff

Arrivals near 2,000 at state airports

On Saturday, 1,948 people arrived in the islands, with 457 visitors and 696 returning residents among them, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Others in the total: 227 crew members, 176 travelers in transit, 191 military, 107 exempt from quarantine, and 94 who say they are relocating to Hawaii.

The state's mandatory 14-day quarantine remains in effect. That means all arrivals must self-quarantine for 14 days and not leave their lodging. Violators are subject to arrest and face possible fines and jail time. 

Kalakaua Avenue opens car-free in first of four events

The city's first Kalakaua Open Street opened today, allowing walkers, bicyclists and joggers to use the vehicle-free Waikiki strip for four consecutive Sundays.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell joined others on the street, which will be blocked off between Seaside Avenue and Kapahulu Avenue from 6 a.m. to noon.

Upcoming dates for the Open Street event include June 21 and 28 and July 5.

 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Editor's note: We’d like to hear how you’re coping with the latest COVID-19 developments and the state's phased reopening. You can call our talkback line at 808-792-8217. Or e-mail us at talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.