Lt. Gov. Josh Green joined Spotlight Hawaii to discuss the state’s response to COVID-19, the possibility of reopening transpacific travel, and the recent spike in coronavirus cases statewide.
Hawaii health officials today reported 47 new coronavirus cases as the statewide total climbed to 1,757.
“We’ve doubled our number cases in the last 30 days,” Green said. “It took us five months to get to 800 and then it took us one month to get to 1,700. Let me speak as a physician, mostly. For every 100 cases, we get 10 individuals that go into the hospital. And for every 65 cases that we are able to detect, one person dies in our state. So as you see these surges, it’s not an abstraction, it’s very real.”
Because of those surges, Green said he recommends limiting gathering in groups to 10 people or less.
“We have to be very mindful not to do any more large gatherings,” he said. “No street fairs, no large gatherings in parks, none of that stuff for a few months, that’s got to end.”
Green said that like so many, he wants to restart the economy by opening transpacific travel, but indicated that lifting the 14-day quarantine for travelers on Sept. 1 may not happen. He also spoke at length about the challenges of reopening schools by Aug. 4.
Green said he concerned about the overall stress and mental health challenges that so many Hawaii residents are facing in the face of so much uncertainty. He urged the public to continue to physically distance and wear face masks.
Spotlight Hawaii, which shines a light on issues affecting Hawaii, airs live 10:30 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page. Watch previous conversations.