A mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for interisland travelers starting Wednesday comes as Hawaii begins to address a shift in COVID-19 cases from mostly travel-related to more localized.
Travel accounted for at least 80% of Hawaii’s COVID-19 cases until about a week ago, State Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson said at a press conference this afternoon.
“These were individuals who had traveled from other places where COVID-19 was widespread or came into contact with a traveler,” Anderson said. “Recently we’ve had more cases where there is no travel history…clearly we are moving away from travel-related cases and focusing more now on cases that are locally transmitted.”
Gov. David Ige started a quarantine March 26 for passengers, residents and locals, arriving on trans-Pacific flights. Since the quarantine order, travel counts have dropped dramatically and a majority of hotel’s across the state have suspended operations.
Normally, more than 30,000 passengers come through Hawaii’s airports on any given day in March, said state Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Sakahara. But only 826 passengers, some 167 of them visitors, came through the state’s airports on the fourth day of the state’s 14-day mandatory self-quarantine for all incoming passengers.
Ige said “essential infrastructure” and “essential businesses” will be exempt from the interisland quarantine.
“We are coming up with a list of the typical jobs and employees (who are exempted) that we will be publishing later on today,” Ige said.
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Gov. David Ige this afternoon announced a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for interisland travelers starting Wednesday
The mandate excludes those deemed to be essential workers, the governor said.
“We must keep our guard up,” said Ige, who started a quarantine for arriving passengers on March 26. “It will continue to get worse before it gets better.”
Watch his live press conference below.
Hawaii Department of Health officials said today that the state’s tally of coronavirus cases has risen to 204, up 29 from Sunday.