Lieutenant Governor Josh Green said he is sending a memo to the City, urging leaders to change Oahu’s stay-at-home order to allow for people from the same household to take part in outdoor activities together. Green said he does not believe the restrictions liming outdoor activity to one person are based on science, and says they should be relaxed.
Green shared his views in a wide-ranging interview this morning on Spotlight Hawaii, where he talked about the results of Oahu’s surge testing, the current hospital capacity, and weighed in on whether the state should reopen to transpacific travel on October 1st, with appropriate testing.
“There’s no reason we can’t do that,” he said.
Green proposed what he called a “soft opening” with two tracks for visitors and returning residents to avoid the 14-day mandatory quarantine: PCR testing within three days of travel, showing a negative COVID-19 result, or antigen testing three days before travel, and again within three days of arrival. Green says that kind of rapid testing is inexpensive and already being conducted at many airports outside of Hawaii.
“I don’t see any reason not to begin travel. Getting some hotels open, some restaurant activity going again,” Green said.
“As long as we’re giving enough tracing and testing to everybody, we can keep any eye one it. That’s really all that it takes.”
Green spoke highly of the new leadership at the Department of Health, highlighting the expanded contact tracing that is taking place. He also said he believes public schools will be able to reopen to in-person instruction in after the fall break, provided parents and teachers feel comfortable going back.
Green also urged everyone to get a flu vaccine.
“It is a good idea because if you can avoid having flu symptoms then you will not be put into the very difficult place of having flu-like symptoms and not knowing whether or not you have COVID.”
Spotlight Hawaii, which shines a light on issues affecting Hawaii, airs live 10:30 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page. Join Ryan Kalei Tsuji and Yunji de Nies this month for a conversation with guests. Click here to watch previous conversations.