Hawaii’s Gov. David Ige reinstated a partial inter-island mandatory quarantine order on Tuesday as the state continued to see rising COVID-19 infections, mainly on the island of O‘ahu.
The order to quarantine when traveling between islands — implemented on April 1 before being initially lifted on June 16 — was reinstated for travel to Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, Maui, and Kalawao. The new order, slated to last through Aug. 31, does not apply to travel to O‘ahu, where the state’s capital of Honolulu is located.
“I have been working closely with all of our county mayors and we agree that reinstating part of the inter-island travel quarantine is necessary and the right thing to do at this time,” Ige said in a recent statement. “We must protect our neighbor island residents in light of the alarming increase in COVID-19 cases on O‘ahu.”
However, in Honolulu, city parks were closed on Aug. 8 along with beaches and state parks and indoor attractions like bowling alleys and arcades. Gatherings were limited to no more than 10 people, according to the city. Masks are also required when out in public spaces when social distancing is not possible.
The move comes as Hawaii recorded a record 231 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, The Associated Press reported. On Monday, Hawaii reported 141 new cases, according to the Hawai‘i Department of Health, 138 of them on O‘ahu. In total, the state has reported more than 3,600 confirmed cases.
“Hospitals throughout Oahu are transferring patients and opening up new specialized COVID units to handle the surge in patients that is expected over the next couple of weeks,” Hawaii’s Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson told the AP, adding the death toll was expected to rise.
Hawaii plans to implement a pre-testing program that would allow out-of-state visitors to skip the state’s quarantine if they arrive with a negative COVID-19 test. The program was originally supposed to go into effect on Aug. 1, but was delayed until Sept. 1.
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