Kauai Opts Out of Hawaii’s Pre-Travel Testing Program
Hawaii Gov. David Ige has approved a request by the mayor of Kauai to temporarily opt out of the state’s pre-travel testing program. Effective Dec. 2 at 12:01 a.m., all transpacific and intercounty travelers arriving in Kauai will be subject to the 14-day quarantine regardless of testing.
“The unprecedented surge of COVID-19 cases on the mainland and the rise in community spread on Kauai are of significant concern for the Garden Isle. We must protect Kaua‘i residents and visitors and ensure that Kauai’s hospitals do not become overwhelmed,” said Gov. Ige in the press release. “Kauai county currently has the fewest number of ICU beds in the state, and private providers are seeking ways to increase capacity. This moratorium aims to stabilize the situation on Kauai.”
“I’d like to thank Gov. Ige for approving Emergency Rule 23, temporarily pausing Kaua‘i’s participation in the state’s pre-travel testing program. Given the national surge of COVID cases on the mainland, Kaua‘i is unable to adequately protect itself by utilizing the Safe Travels program at this time,” said Mayor Kawakami.
The state has been closely monitoring travel-associated cases since the state’s pre-travel testing program began Oct. 15. New data shows the positivity rate is up, though community spread is still responsible for the vast majority of cases. Kauai, however, has seen a larger spike in travel-related coronavirus infections since the start of the pre-travel testing program. The island had only reported 61 cases between March 1 and Oct. 14, but Kauai’s COVID-cases had already jumped to 45 in November.