Despite uptick in new cases, governor says he’s not considering tighter restrictions

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 5:38 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Despite an increase in new COVID infections, the governor says he’s not interested in tightening restrictions ― at least for now.

The CDC says data suggests fully vaccinated people do not carry the virus and don’t get severely sick, but national health leaders are still worried about a rise in cases nationally.

“I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, earlier this week. She is pleading with Americans to stay the course.

In an interview Wednesday, Ige said he doesn’t share that sense of doom.

He said while people seem to be less careful, he’s monitoring the numbers and isn’t clamping down on restrictions for now.

“Both on Maui and Oahu, there have been persistent community spread and that is a concern. We are seeing it in clusters in home settings and that is the hardest to get at,” he said.

HNN asked the governor if people should not go to church for the Easter weekend.

“If they can participate in a virtual gathering, I think that would be the safest,” he replied.

Meanwhile, as more people are booking summer vacations, the state is working with private companies on a vaccine travel pass.

“I would definitely say by the ending part of summer ... I think we’ll have some mechanism to recognize those who have been vaccinated,” Ige said.

University of Hawaii epidemiologist DeWolfe Miller supports moving forward with a vaccine travel pass.

“The thing with vaccine passports is they have to be authenticated,” said Miller.

The federal government, though, says it will not be instituting vaccine passports or a national data base. According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing. The CDC still does not recommend attending medium or large-sized gatherings or traveling domestically or internationally.

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