Gov. David Ige said today that the recent increase in COVID-19 cases were a result of Memorial Day weekend gatherings.
On Friday and Saturday, health officials announced a total of 18 newly reported cases, most of which were on Oahu.
While the increase was expected, the number of new cases was higher than what he hoped for, Ige said.
It is unclear if this past weekend’s protests, where over 10,000 individuals came together, will have a similar affect.
Ige said he was impressed by the peaceful protest because it showed that “we are all committed to doing better.” However, he expressed some concern about the number of people closely packed together. He asked these individuals to self isolate for the next few days, and especially stay away from kupuna and others who are at higher risk.
On June 16, Ige said that interisland travelers will be required to fill out a public health form and participate in a general health screening, but will no longer be subject to the 14-day mandatory quarantine.
The health form is currently available in hard copy format. Ige said that state officials are working to have an electronic version of the form available online later this week so that travelers can fill it out in advance of arriving at the airport.
Ige did not provide a date when domestic and international travel will reopen, but did say that it will not be this month.
He mentioned that many U.S. West Coast states including California, Nevada, Colorado, and Utah, are experiencing their highest case counts right now.
The state is focusing on travel bubble opportunities that would allow travel between areas with low COVID-19 infection rates.
Ige said he will make an announcement as soon as he can. In the meantime, he advised Hawaii residents against any travel outside of islands.
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The COVID-19 Care Conversation, sponsored by Hawai’i Executive Collaborative and Hawaii Pacific Health, airs live every weekday at 10:30 a.m. on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page. Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji discuss the latest news, resources and community concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii.