Clad in protective face masks, gloves and eyewear, Hawaii National Guard soldiers this morning used infrared thermometers to take arriving passengers’ temperatures at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport’s interisland terminal.
Beginning today, soldiers of the Hawaii National Guard Task Force and four units of the Hawaii Army National Guard is assisting in the state’s response to COVID-19 by taking temperatures of arriving and departing passengers at the Honolulu Airport and Hilo International Airport.
Dozens of National Guard soldiers assisted at the Honolulu airport at the passenger arrival gates and TSA security checkpoints, according to spokesman Maj. Jeff Hickman.
Temperatures are being taken to determine whether any passengers need additional medical screening. Patients afflicted with COVID-19 have had fevers as high as 104 degrees.
On March 26, Gov. David Ige mandated all arriving passengers to self-quarantine for 14 days. Violators face penalties of up to a $5,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
Tim Sakahara, spokesman of the Hawaii Department of Transportation, said the volume of domestic and international passenger arrivals has plummeted. “It’s remarkable how few people there are at the airport,” he said.
Arriving passengers include college students returning home because of class cancellations or individuals laid off from their jobs and returing home to stay with family.