Governor David Ige expressed his concern over the recent spike in coronavirus cases in Hawaii, which he said officials anticipated after holiday gatherings. Ige told Spotlight Hawaii this morning that the state is closely tracking the state’s ICU capacity, which currently can handle the rise in cases. Ige said he is in constant contact with the county mayors, as they work to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“None of us really want to get to a shutdown. The real trigger point is our healthcare capacity,” Ige said.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to issue a statewide restriction if we needed it, but as you can see we do see very different case counts here on Oahu compared to Maui and Hawaii Island and Kauai.”
The Governor said the cases appear to be tied to social gatherings among Hawaii residents, along with clusters in prisons, and not to visitors entering the state. He urged residents to avoid even small social gatherings, wear masks, and socially distance as much as possible.
Ige spoke about the budget and the upcoming legislative session, including Speaker Scott Saiki’s plan to introduce legislation to revamp the Safe Travels program. He also talked about the vaccine roll out, and shared his reaction to the violent events in Washington, D.C. earlier this week.
“I was appalled to see the President of the United States, calling on people to take action in their own hands, ignore the law, storm the Capitol, and ignore the voters’ wishes,” he said.
“I think we should look at all options to make sure that the President doesn’t do anything that would damage the international reputation of the country, but most importantly, not put our citizens in harm’s way. We, I think, are all concerned that he doesn’t do something else that would really be catastrophic for our country.”
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.