Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami supports the governor’s decision to reinstate an inter-island quarantine as COVID-19 cases surge on O‘ahu.
“It is disheartening to have to take a few steps back in order to move forward, but it is necessary given the recent outbreaks on O‘ahu,” Kawakami said Thursday afternoon. “Kaua‘i may be an island of its own, but we are all connected. The quarantine allows us a layer of protection to help us keep our island and our people safe.”
Gov. David Ige made the announcement during a press conference Thursday. The mandate affects travelers arriving on the counties of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, Maui and Kalawao. The period of self-quarantine will begin immediately upon arrival and last 14 days or the duration of the person’s stay on the island, whichever is shorter.
The order goes into effect on Aug. 11 and will continue through Aug. 31 unless it is terminated or extended by a separate proclamation.
“This measure also allows our county to remain in the ‘Act With Care’ impact level, and spares us from having to shut down businesses and public spaces like O‘ahu has had to do,” Kawakami said. “But government does not and cannot control this virus.”
From day one, the mayor said, “the virus moves when we move it.”
“The reckless actions of a few individuals will have detrimental effects,” Kawakami stated. “Gatherings of people who do not wear masks or practice physical distancing are the core reason for our current outbreak.”
This type of behavior, the mayor added, will continue to threaten the health and safety of the community, and will further hinder the state’s ability to stabilize its economy.
“With just nine ICU beds and 14 ventilators on our island, it won’t take much to overwhelm our healthcare system,” Kawakami said. “This is a community challenge that we must overcome and it requires us to work together.”
Kawakami urged Kaua‘i residents to be responsible and take care of each other.
“If we continue to work as a team, we can and will overcome this,” he said. “We ask for your continued diligence, self-discipline, and integrity to do the right thing and protect our people and this island that we call home.”
The previous inter-island travel quarantine affecting all inter-island travelers took effect on Apr. 1 and was lifted on June 16.