The way to “perfect the system” for testing in-bound Hawaii passengers for COVID-19 would be to extend the mandatory pre-flight testing from three days to four and then require a second test upon arrival, Lt. Gov. Josh Green told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii online video program today.
The extra, fourth day, to get tested for COVID-19 before boarding a Hawaii-bound flight would allow passengers more time to find a test site and receive their results. A second test upon arrival would provide an extra layer of certainty for worried residents and their mayors, who are calling for new requirements.
But Green said there is little reason to change the current system because is showing positive results, although concerns remain over its effects on a battered tourism-based economy.
“Right now the system is working,” Green said. “I don’t know why people would want to make wholesale changes to a system where we’ve got the lowest rate in the country of COVID. We’ve got the lowest mortality rate in the country of COVID. The active cases per capita, I believe, are the lowest in the country and we’re the only country (state) that has significant travel because we have the Safe Travels program.”
Hawaii health officials today reported 71 new COVID-19 infections on Oahu; five each on Kauai and the Big Island; four on Maui; and seven Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. As a result of updated information, two cases on Oahu were removed from the statewide counts.