Honolulu’s mayor proposes additional testing changes for trans-Pacific travelers

Updated: Nov. 24, 2020 at 5:16 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell will ask the governor for a workaround to allow trans-Pacific travelers still awaiting travelers to avoid quarantine.

Under Caldwelll’s plan, a traveler without a negative COVID-19 test result would take one immediately after landing at Honolulu’s airport.

“They download the tracing app, they agree to come back in four days to get a second test and they quarantine in between,” Caldwell said.

Those initial results at the airport take three hours to return.

If the second test comes back negative, the person is free to move about ― cutting quarantine time from 14 days to the four days in between the two tests.

Health and business leaders don’t want two tests, and instead suggested travelers without results could use the city’s airport lab and be cleared from quarantine that day when the results comes in.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green said the state has seen encouraging numbers from both pre-travel test studies and post arrival studies. About 6% out of the thousands of travelers who arrived through the program did not have results in hand. Of those, 44 learned that they had the virus after landing.

And post-arrival testing found 45 infected people whose original test was negative.

Green said that it’s important for Hawaii to keep tight controls as mainland states are spiking with record setting cases. “I am going to recommend that the counties do arrival testing if they have the capacity because it will ... provide some extra protection,” Green said.

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