County mayors renew call for a 2-test system to relaunch travel

Updated: Oct. 10, 2020 at 5:23 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii is just days away from the launch of its pre-travel testing program, but plans for each county are still waiting to be finalized by the governor.

With the mayors of Kauai, Hawaii Island, and Maui County requesting for a second test in the pre-travel program for transpacific fliers, Lt. Governor Josh Green says he’s in support of their proposals and also wants it expanded to cover inter-island travel as well.

“It’s not fair to tell people here in Hawaii, they can’t travel between the islands when mainland travelers can,” said Green. “So, it’s a measure of fairness and I think it will be well received in a time where there’s been a fair amount of conflict.”

Green said he envisions the mayors' proposals for additional testing as “courtesy testing centers,” where antigen rapid tests would be used.

Its tests the lieutenant governor said are both affordable and fast.

“The BD Veritor, which is the machine that I have heard through the grapevine they’re intending to use has only a 3% false positive rate,” said Green.

While the two-test system adds an extra layer of security, Green says it will also help reduce risks in the neighbor islands since they have less healthcare capacity.

Green also said the tests should be made available to residents like first responders and teachers.

Hawaii County Mayor, Harry Kim said his proposal got verbal approval and adds that they confirmed the availability for rapid testing and secured a testing site near the airport.

“He has approved it verbally, we met all his criteria and I signed the final today, it’ll go back today so I’m confident in that,” said Kim.

The governor’s office said Ige has agreed in concept to Mayor Kim’s order, but the document is still being reviewed and has not been signed.

Mayor Kawakami and Mayor Victorino are still awaiting for the governor’s decision.

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