State stops offering COVID quarantine facilities, leaving some scrambling for options
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Effective New Year’s Day, the state no longer manages quarantine facilities for those who test positive for COVID-19.
Instead, that responsibility now falls to the individual counties.
And the Big Island health community is already seeing a need for assistance.
Dr. Kaohimanu Dang Akiona, the Hawaii County director of Premier Medical Group, says she’s been flooded with outreach requests from COVID patients who have no place to quarantine.
Those in need include the homeless, former inmates recently released from prison, and people who aren’t able to isolate at home.
She’s working with organizations to secure shelter, but is asking for government leaders to pitch in.
“In addition to having access to good testing, it’s access to good information,” Dang-Akiona said.
“It’s having the option should you need it, to have an isolation place, so you can protect your family. That’s not gonna be the case 100% of the time, but there are some really, really big groups of people who carry a disproportionate burden of the disease that need that option.”
The Hawaii County Mayor’s office confirmed Monday it is not providing quarantine space, leaving it up to individuals, non-profits and hotels.
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