Kauai News

Kawakami Still Waiting for Gov’s Decision on Kaua‘i’s Proposed COVID Post-Travel Tiered System

Posted October 13, 2020, 10:49 AM HST

Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami continues to await the governor’s decision on his proposed four-tiered system for responding to COVID-19 when trans-pacific travel reopens this week.

The state’s pre-travel testing program is slated to launch on Oct 15. It requires trans-pacific travelers to submit a nucleic acid amplification test, or NAAT, test 72 hours prior to their arrival in the state.

Gov. David Ige rejected Kawakami’s initial request to require a post-travel testing program for visitors and returning residents. As a result, the mayor submitted Rule 19 last week, which creates a four-tiered system based on the COVID-19 infection rate on Kaua‘i.

“While we still maintain that a mandatory second test is the best option for us, Rule 19 would combine involuntary test system with a tiered system for responding to outbreaks,” Kawakami stated in a COVID-19 daily update on Monday.

The county, Kawakami added, has enjoyed many months of low to no case numbers and it is inevitable that Kaua‘i will see a rise in COVID infections in the coming weeks and months.

As of Monday, the case count remained at 59 with no active infections and no close contacts in quarantine.

“Our incident management team will do everything they can to keep the community safe and case counts at a manageable level so we can avoid future shutdowns or tighter restrictions.