Neighbor Island mayors again urge Ige to bring inter-island quarantine back

Updated: Aug. 6, 2020 at 6:18 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii’s three Neighbor Island mayors are urging the governor to reinstate a mandatory quarantine for inter-island travel and keep public schools closed.

“You look at what’s happening around us, I think we’re in trouble,” Maui Mayor Mike Victorino said, in a news conference Wednesday. “Oahu has a worsening situation.”

[Read more: 173 new COVID-19 cases reported on Oahu in a new single-day record]

In a letter to Gov. David Ige on Wednesday, Victorino said a surge in COVID-19 cases on Hawaii’s most populated island could easily jump to the Neighbor Islands, where there is limited hospital capacity.

He said he, Big Island Mayor Harry Kim and Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami all agree that reinstating a mandatory, 14-day quarantine on inter-island travel is the right thing to do.

He also asked that public schools and universities remains closed for a period of 28 days.

That would push the start of the school year into September. Public schools are currently scheduled to return Aug. 17 ― two weeks later than the state had originally planned.

The Lieutenant Governor is among those urging the governor to reimpose the lockdown.

“We’re in the biggest surge of the pandemic,” said LG Josh Green. “173 cases is really a landmark because now we have as many active cases as we have cases that have already been cleared. That’s a pretty astounding situation.”

In May, while the inter-island quarantine was imposed, Hawaii had very few new cases each day. Since it was lifted in Mid-June, the state has seen more than 2,000 – the vast majority on Oahu.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell agreed bringing back the inter-island quarantine will help.

“Should there be a move to re-implement the 14 day quarantine, I would not be against it. I think we all need to protect ourselves and the inter-island quarantine did work in flattening the curve,” said Caldwell.

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