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Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Rushing off to Las Vegas means isolation upon return

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / MAY 21, 2020
                                Chairs have been removed at some electronic slot machines to maintain social distancing between players at a closed Caesars Palace hotel and casino in Las Vegas.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS / MAY 21, 2020

    Chairs have been removed at some electronic slot machines to maintain social distancing between players at a closed Caesars Palace hotel and casino in Las Vegas.

Question: With Vegas opening up Thursday, will I have to quarantine when I get back?

Answer: Yes, if you travel to Las Vegas and return to Hawaii before the rule requiring a 14-day quarantine is lifted. Gov. David Ige said Thursday that the quarantine rule — currently in place through June 30 — will be extended beyond that date, but he didn’t say for exactly how long.

So many people have asked the same question — the lure of the “ninth island” is strong, even amid a global pandemic — that we’ll state the obvious: Tourists are not the only potential source of COVID-19 in the islands. Hawaii residents who travel elsewhere can bring it home. If you’ve got money to burn, perhaps consider a staycation?

Here’s information about Hawaii’s self-quarantine requirements, from the state Department of Transportation, hidot.hawaii.gov/coronavirus.

>> Persons entering Hawaii must self-quarantine for 14 days or the duration of the trip, whichever is shorter. This applies to visitors and residents alike. Essential employees can submit an exemption request by emailing covidexemption@hawaii.gov.

(Self-quarantine currently also applies to interisland travel, although that element is expected to be lifted soon. By contrast, the rule regarding trans-Pacific air travel will be extended past June 30, the governor said.)

HDOT lists four general exceptions:

>> Persons arriving on recreational boats that have been at sea for at least 14 days do not have to self- quarantine if no one on the boat is ill.

>> Persons traveling to the state or interisland to perform certain critical infrastructure functions may break quarantine to perform those functions.

>> Residents who have left the state to perform critical infrastructure work do not need to self-quarantine upon return.

>> Persons traveling interisland for medical care do not have to self-quarantine so long as they wear appropriate protective gear and practice social distancing.

On Wednesday, 1,129 people arrived in Hawaii by air, a total that included 311 visitors and 398 nonexempt residents.

According to their respective health departments, as of Thursday, Nevada had 410 deaths among a total of 8,208 confirmed COVID-19 cases, while Hawaii had 17 deaths among a total of 647 confirmed cases.

Q: Any word on whether C&C pools will reopen and when?

A: June 5, for lap swimming only, according to the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, which posts updates at honolulu.gov/parks.html.

Correction

Reimbursement grants from Oahu’s Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund cannot be used to pay for lost sales and lost opportunities, as Kokua Line mistakenly said Wednesday, relying on a news release from the city. For full requirements, see oneoahu.org/small-business.

Auwe

Shame on those military members who trashed the North Shore with a huge party and bonfire — on Memorial Day weekend, no less! It’s so disrespectful and proves once again that the rules seem to apply only to people willing to follow them! — Disgusted reader

(Note: The Army is “conducting an inquiry” into allegations that military members were involved in two separate, illegal beach parties over the Memorial Day weekend, according to a news release Thursday from the 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Hawaii. Military officials were coordinating with local law enforcement, it said. The parties occurred at Waimea Bay Beach Park and Kaena Point State Park’s Mokuleia Beach, according to the release, which cited social media posts and Hawaii media reports.)

Mahalo

Thank you to the kind and thoughtful person for turning in my box key to the Mililani Post Office last month. Please be safe and healthy. — Grateful senior


Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.


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