HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - When the COVID-19 outbreak hit the island of Lanai, Nyle Dolera got so sick from the virus that he had to be airlifted to Oahu for treatment.
But the retired Honolulu Police Department captain said the way he was treated by state Department of Health officials during his 14-day quarantine on Oahu was much worse than the disease itself.
“It’s shameful. You don’t treat people from Hawaii like this,” he said.
“I fell through the cracks, I guess.”
Dolera wound up sleeping on Waikiki beach after one of the quarantine hotels set up by the state ― the Equus hotel in Waikiki ― refused to check him in.
He said the Health Department initially sent him to the Waikiki Pearl hotel on Nov. 9 after he was discharged from Queen’s Medical Center intensive care unit.
But after checking in at the Waikiki Pearl, Dolera asked for a CPAP device to help him sleep. He said that prompted the DOH to transfer him to one of the state’s Temporary Quarantine Isolation Centers in Iwilei, which was originally set up for homeless people awaiting their COVID-19 tests.
He said the rooms inside were filthy and he wanted out.
“God, it was just like mold and mildew. They insisted it was clean. This is not clean,” he said.
After that, a DOH van picked him up and sent him to the Equus hotel, where staff refused to let him book a room, Dolera said.
He said he asked if he could stay the night while the mix up was cleared up but a staffer refused.
He said the hotel then called the police to remove him from the property ― even though he was supposed to be in quarantine.
After checking with two other hotels that also did not have rooms, Dolera said he wound up wandering through Ala Moana Beach Park and found a bench near the Hilton Lagoon to sleep on.
“At three or four o’clock in the morning, the sprinklers turned on and soaked me completely. It was crazy. It was crazy,” he said.
Later that morning, an HPD officer, a former colleague, picked him up and arranged for Dolera to return to the Waikiki Pearl hotel.
Former Kauai Councilmember Mel Rapozo, who interviewed Dolera on his Facebook Live talk show Saturday night, said the DOH handling of the matter should be investigated.
“This kine stuff, you know. This cannot happen. Eight months, nine months into this pandemic, this should never happen,” said Rapozo.
“This condition shouldn’t be acceptable for anybody. Anybody. "
Dolera said he still hasn’t gotten an explanation from the DOH about why he couldn’t check into the Equus hotel. The DOH could not be reached for immediate comment.