Restrictions could be relaxed if no community spread

LIHU‘E — Some sectors of Kaua‘i’s local economy could reopen on May 3 if current COVID-19 trends continue, according to county officials, but only if evidence of community spread doesn’t spring up between now and then.

Mayor Derek Kawakami said the county is working on reopening plans on Wednesday during his public address, asking people to keep following social distancing and stay-at-home orders, saying “we’re so close to seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Currently there is one active case of COVID-19 on Kaua‘i and that person is in isolation at the hospital. The other 20 individuals with confirmed cases have either recovered or returned home to the Mainland.

Kaua‘i district health officer Dr. Janet Berreman explained that May 3 date is important because it’s 21 days — or two incubation periods for the virus — from April 5, when the first, and only, case of community spread was confirmed on Kaua‘i.

Waiting that length of time to shift toward reopening is standard for public health officials, Berreman said.

“As a public health physician, if we have no more cases of community-acquired COVID-19 by May 3, I feel confident that in our current environment we can — cautiously — begin to loosen some of the tight restrictions that Kaua‘i has implemented,” Berreman said Wednesday.

Six new cases of the virus were confirmed on Wednesday statewide, bringing the new total to 591 positive cases with 12 virus-related deaths in Hawai‘i. More than 25,000 people have been tested statewide for the virus with 2.6% of those tested returning positive results, according to officials.

On Kaua‘i, officials said May 3 could potentially bring the reopening of construction and golf courses on the island, as well as the reopening of “many businesses that have been closed”.

Kawakami also cautioned on Wednesday that even if restrictions are loosened, “it doesn’t mean any of us will be going back to life as we knew it before March.”

“Our COVID-19 experience is far from over,” he said.

  1. Major Lee Hung April 23, 2020 3:02 am Reply

    Does the Mayor not understand this isn’t going away and is expected by the experts to flare up again in the fall? With virtually no herd immunity and no vaccine until next year at the earliest, does he plan on shutting Kauai down again, if we ever reopen?
    Also, please keep in mind with a flu vaccine we still regularly see 30k to 60k or higher deaths yearly.
    This gradual reopening has to include ending the 14 day quarantine, otherwise there really is no need to open back up.

  2. RG DeSoto April 23, 2020 9:17 am Reply

    “Kawakami also cautioned on Wednesday that even if restrictions are loosened, ‘it doesn’t mean any of us will be going back to life as we knew it before March.’
    ‘Our COVID-19 experience is far from over,’ he said.”
    Heck no..otherwise where would this immature joke find the time to continue doing arm farts and making “treats” on his Instagram account–all while collecting his full taxpayer funded salary. That would be tragic…how could we all survive without his banal nonsense and drivel?
    RG DeSoto

    1. Nobody important April 24, 2020 9:09 pm Reply

      Not to mention the Council member arrested for throwing a pound of meth out of his vehicle. Been to Anini lately?

  3. Ben April 23, 2020 12:02 pm Reply

    Don’t the schools have to open first? How many parents will go back to work if there’s no childcare or school for the kids?

  4. Mailman Mike April 23, 2020 12:06 pm Reply

    That would be good for the residents of Kauai but you must keep the number of visitors down and closely monitor them till numbers get better on the mainland. Screen them before they get on their flights.

  5. Rev Dr Malama April 23, 2020 12:32 pm Reply

    TGI needs to report the daily Mayor’s Facebook feed and remind people that the government belongs to we the people…. at this point in time, that includes all visitors who are obligated to obey the law and follow the emergency rules as part of the responsibility of a free and sovereign individual.
    That said…. the “New Normal” is a design that takes intelligence, patience and creativity to safeguard our Island and it’s fragile environment and very, very limited health care services.
    Federal funding will be forthcoming and with more people submitting the census data, the money we so desperately need will be easier to procure first to maintain our failing infrastructures of roads, water, sewers, waste, etc…
    Let’s not slide into a 3rd world statis but let our representatives know how we see leading the way to a new, more sustainable and harmonious atmosphere that can become a model for community development everywhere RURAL!
    It would be a disaster for the present government in Hawai’i to return to servicing only foreign investment companies and allowing the liquor industry to get a foothold into our vulnerable communities more than ever…. creating un needed addiction crisis BEYOND what already exists.

  6. WAVE April 23, 2020 4:06 pm Reply

    Fear Does not Count as Data.

    Data can be verified as true or false by objective observation and testing

    Examples of Data :
    Kauai beaches…..CLOSED …to Sunbathing ?????
    Other Kauai businesses …..CLOSED
    Fear is not Data.

  7. My Two Cents April 23, 2020 4:27 pm Reply

    Keep up the good work
    mr. Kawakami you’re doing a heck of a job.
    Out standing!
    I know Kauai does depend on tourist dollars but for now we have to hold off on that. and for those of you think tourists will stop coming here come on get real, tourist will never not come here. Kauai is the bomb.
    And a thought for the unemployed people
    I feel for you guys.
    a lot of restaurants right now could use delivery drivers might not be much but it’s something
    Teachers deserve a raise not a paycut.

  8. MrsButterworth April 23, 2020 5:20 pm Reply

    gotta love the trumpian control crowd. give it up we are blue and we arent going to turn into ignorant red anytime soon insulting our mayor who is local and born and raised just makes you look like all kinds of four letter ignorant. hey geniuses the reason we dont have spread or even one deathwatch is because we locked it down tight early. stop whining and stay on your couches. if any of you actually even live here which i doubt.

    great job mayor us locals actually appreciate you saving many lives. on kauai we all know each other and care for each other. just the flybyes and lookie loos commenting. dont let it fluff your feathers.

    by the way to all the above commentators. i hear that vegas is going to be open for business so why don’t you hop a flight over there and do some gambling just do not expect anyone to serve you food or clean your hotel room. every single workers union is refusing to go back. but hey maybe you can wash dishes or something. would probably be a step up from what you are doing now

    covidiots. the cream of the crop. the very best. be best! They don’t care! Do You??

    1. Everythingisawesome April 24, 2020 6:54 pm Reply

      We “locked it down” AFTER there were confirmed cases on island. Early? Fake news.

  9. Bryan Bishop April 23, 2020 6:20 pm Reply

    My personal desire is that Politicians become very nervous about oppressing the American People. They should be terrified at the prospect, even in the event of a pandemic, or for any reason. This so called pandemic has shown a very disturbing thing has developed in America. A politician who doesn’t fear the people is a dangerous person to Americans. Americans need to rise up and make them very afraid of what they try to do to us. Make them afraid. Americans need to organize into large groups. Thousands strong! Anything less will not be effective at getting their undivided attention. Protests need to have a strong message with a real warning of consequences for their bad behavior. Their behavior is bad behavior. Americans don’t need the State to order them to protect themselves from anything. We already have wisdom enough to take care of ourselves…They can suggest, but that’s absolutely the limit of their legitimate actions…Don’t settle for their BS. They want to exercise control, but it isn’t their Right nor their authority too…Stop them!

  10. JIm Mayfield April 24, 2020 11:10 am Reply

    I agree with much of what you state. However, if you are implying that we should give up the full 14 day period, I respectfully disagree. Why not…
    1) require that all arriving passengers have their temperature taken when they arrive on Kauai OR a “letter” from their personal physician that as of the day prior to their arrival, they had no evidence of COVID. As 98% of people with COVID show evidence of a fever within 5 days of “inhaling” the virus, that largely eliminates the chance that someone with the disease
    2) They be required to sequester themselves for 5 days at a hotel and pre-pay for the initial 5 day period plus three meals a day. They have to show evidence of that at the airport. That will probably deter almost all people from reserving the hotel and then canceling their reservation.
    3) After five days, they are required to have their temperature taken by the fire stations/police station/hospital/Health office/a local doctor or any other third party provider that could be trusted. Again, there is a 98% chance that if they caught the disease on the flight to Kauai, there would be evidence of the disease by the 5th day.
    4) Require that any hotel being allowed to accept these visitors certify that they have taken and continue to maintain reasonable actions to minimize the chance of COVID. As an example, to seats to a table, one person per golf cart, lounge chairs separated (and kept separated) by 6’….
    I acknowledge that there is a 5%+/- chance that someone might start to show evidence of COVID on the 6th day or later if they caught COVID on the flight to Kauai. However, if only 2.5% of humans appear to have the disease at any given time at this point and there is a 98% chance that they will have a fiver in 5 days, this chance is very, very, very small. And even if they do, there is a good chance that the visitor will voluntarily get tested should they start to feel themselves getting sick. To my knowledge, all 21 cases on Kauai were “discovered” by the victims voluntarily getting tested.
    We remain almost as safe as we are now and the businesses and employees who depend on tourism can pay their bills and remain home on Kauai. Kauai cannot afford a repeat of the depression we suffered after Hurricane Iniki.

  11. Joe April 24, 2020 11:46 am Reply

    Unless there is a way to screen tourists prior to them landing on Kauai, this whole exercise we have just been through will be wasted.

    Easing restrictions are fine for those of us who live here as long as no one else comes in.

  12. No get nutz April 24, 2020 7:10 pm Reply

    @bryan bishop
    America this
    America that
    America here
    America there
    Stop trying your dinky little uprising
    It won’t work here cause this is Hawaii not America!
    You wanna preach distruction take the BS to the states cause we’re good here.

  13. Malia April 24, 2020 8:20 pm Reply

    All comments who are not referencing the latest USC, Stanford, and NY Antibody studies are OLD NEWS. What we are learning is that MILLIONS of people have already been infected in CA/NY & elsewhere PRIOR to the lockdown. Specific to CA, after extrapolating the rates of the positive antibody tests against the population, they are realizing the rate of INFECTION (not death) is anywhere from 25-50x higher than are confirmed since lockdown. If you aren’t a math person…what this does is bring the death rate to about .1% .1%!!!! that is GREAT NEWS. That is about the same death rate as the yearly flu. Not downplaying COVID deaths as unimportant, but lets put it in perspective here.

    Yes it’s a different virus with different symptoms, but the death rate is the same as the flu! Does that warrant a worldwide shutdown? Well I will give the caution praise, as we didn’t fully understand the virus prior. But now that we are having success in certain treatments, and we are learning that THIS ALREADY WENT AROUND CALI in late 2019/early 2020, with travel to and from CA and China to Hawaii as it is…it is pretty obvious that at least SOME of whatever sick was going around here this winter…was COVID. I would put CHOKE money on it. These are not small hidden studies. This is a head director of CA hospitals up and down the state sharing antibody data recently collected: And you can find the other ones if you bother to care.

    Please look into this, because it might bring some perspective to the current situation, and help us to realize a great deal of us may already have gotten COVID prior to the lockdown and nobody batted an eye. Please ask yourselves why this isn’t front page “blue” news and why we are still locked down when data appears to show that the death rate is that of the seasonal flu? Ask why the mayor/gov hasn’t announced this great news and we are going to start ANTIBODY testing here, to see if indeed, we’ve already got a nice herd immunity going. This is affecting all of us, and I don’t care whether you are blue, red or sparkle rainbow clouds, we need to seek out TRUTH and stop calling names.

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