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The Conversation: COVID Preparedness Across the State

Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

Strengthening COVID preparedness across Hawaii; Recap of the 2020 Hawaii State Legislature; Survey says Hawaii residents OK with coronavirus restrictions; Cancel RIMPAC Coalition opposes biennial military exercise

Strengthening COVID preparedness across Hawaii

Not everyone agrees on the best way forward. But now that the plan to hold off on welcoming transpacific flights at least until September, we touched base with Dr. Jim Ireland. He is a community physician and medical director of the aircraft rescue and firefighters division at the state's airports. He tells us about ways to strengthen our defenses. We learned he is looking a repurposed medical equipment, originally used to screen the flu, that may be helpful in our fight against COVID-19.

Dr. Jim Ireland, community physician and medical director of the aircraft rescue and firefighters division, state airports
Credit Daniel Ramirez / Flickr

Recap of the 2020 Hawaii State Legislature

Sine die. The State Legislature has finished its normal business for the year. And while much of lawmakers' focus was on addressing pandemic related issues, they did pass lots of non-virus measures as well. HPR's Ryan Finnerty joins us for a recap of what passed and what didn't.

HPR Reporter Ryan Finnerty

Survey says most Hawaii residents OK with coronavirus restrictions

According to an online survey from the University of Hawaii Public Policy Center found that people in Hawaii think closing down vacation rentals and schools make sense in the event of a serious surge, but don't want restrictions on beach access and doctor visits. Civil Beat reporter Eleni Gill shares insights from the survey. Click here to read the story at

Civil Beat Reporter Eleni Gill
Wikipedia Commons
Credit Wikipedia Commons

Cancel RIMPAC Coalition opposes biennial military exercise

The U.S. Navy's war games, the Rim of the Pacifici exercise, or RIMPAC, are set to start Aug. 17. It's held every two years in Hawaii and brings dozens of countries and thousands of troops for training. But dues to the COVID-19 pandemic, things have been scaled down and postponed, with at sea exercises only for two weeks. But some are still concerned about the event. A joint effort called the Cancel RIMPAC Coalition has come to oppose the military exercise. Co-organizers Tina Grandinetti and Kawena Kapahua, as well as Ann Wright, a retired Army colonel and former diplomat now with the coalition, tell us about their concerns. The group has an online petition. Click here for more information.

Tina Grandinetti, Kawena Kapahua and Ann Wright of Cancel RIMPAC Coalition

Catherine Cruz is the Host of The Conversation and a member of HPR’s news team. She has been a television reporter in Hawai‘i since 1983 and has won a number of awards and respect from a statewide audience. She spent more than thirty years at KITV, covering beats from government to education and health. Originally from Guam, Cruz is also a co-founder and former Board member and programming chair of Pacific Islanders in Communication (PIC). Catherine is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.
Jason Ubay is HPR's news editor. Send your story ideas to him at
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