Green urges other state officials to sign off on large-scale booster clinics ahead of Christmas
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On Tuesday, President Joe Biden revealed his new plan to combat Omicron.
It includes sending Americans 500 million free at-home rapid tests, expanding vaccination site access and deploying a thousand service members and additional medical teams to overwhelmed hospitals starting next month.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Josh Green believes the best way to knock back this latest surge is to make it as easy as possible for people to get a booster shot.
“Whatever we do this week and next week is going to save a lot of suffering, hospitalizations and death in January and beyond,” he said.
In a memo dated Dec. 20. Green urged Gov. David Ige and other top state officials to establish large pop-up clinics in every county.
The idea is to offer testing and booster shots at each site — for two days this week and two days next week.
“So people can quickly go get a booster, or a test if they’re headed towards a party or whatever,” Green said.
Green also wants the governor to approve mandated time off so residents can get a booster shot without having to worry about missing work.
On Tuesday, 61 COVID patients were hospitalized statewide. That’s up 50% in the last five days.
“It could skyrocket really quickly if people don’t have their boosters and they’re not protected,” Green said.
Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Rick Blangiardi addressed the latest surge in cases. And like the lieutenant governor, he’s asking people to roll up their sleeve.
“We’re concerned about large gatherings,” he said. “We’re concerned about the cases. So be smart. If there’s any advice I want to give is get a booster if you haven’t already gotten one.”
Blangiardi said at this point there are no plans for new restrictions but added that could change if hospitals become overwhelmed.
“If the cases are up there with a high level of positivity and a high level of hospitalizations then that’s going to be a trigger point for us,” Blangiardi said. “We think probably the number we’re going to look at with respect to COVID patients would be somewhere around 150.”
Currently, just over 22% of Hawaii residents have gotten their booster shot. That’s about 321,000 people.
Green said, “We need to double that number of boosters to get ourselves into a much safer spot.”
HNN reached out to the governor’s office on Tuesday, asking about Green’s memo and if Ige is in favor of creating large-scale booster shot clinics. So far, there’s been no response.
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