Kaua‘i County’s proposal to implement post COVID-19 testing for travelers was denied by Gov. David Ige, officials announced Monday.
Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami proposed Emergency Rule 18 to the governor’s office on Sept. 23. With the state’s pre-travel testing program expected to start on Oct. 15, the mayor hoped to add another layer of security as the Garden Island has limited medical capacity.
“While this news is disappointing, we have said from day one that we must be flexible and ready to adapt to our ever-changing environment in order to keep our community safe,” Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami said during his COVID briefing Monday.
Ige didn’t respond to Kaua‘i Now News’ request for comment on the issue.
The county already secured 15,000 rapid tests for the post-testing program.
“We are now developing a plan on how we can still utilize these tests to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on our island in light of the governor and lieutenant governor’s pre-travel testing program,” Kawakami said.
The case count on Kaua‘i remains at 59. Those individuals who were in isolation have been released and a few of the close contacts to those recent infections remain in quarantine.
Kawakami reiterated the best way to mitigate the spread of the virus is through one’s behavior. He encouraged residents to wear their face masks, avoid crowds and continue to social distance.