Gov. Ige should choose the Kauai COVID Committee plan

In response to the front page TGI article “Group wants double testing”, by Allan Parachini on July 2, 2020, we agree with the Kauai COVID Committee of Doctors and community leaders. Basically, the group says that it is vitally important that a second COVID-19 test should be required of all visitors to Kauai until the virus is no longer deemed a potentially deadly threat to the people. Dr. Lee Evslin, of the Kauai COVID group, said “What we (would be) advertising is we are doing the best in the country to create a COVID-free vacation spot. That will make this unique.”

The pandemic is raging again and we are in a very vulnerable age group, but our concern is for all ages and all the People of Kauai and Hawaii, and for all visitors. With all due respect to Gov. Ige and Lt. Gov. Green’s plan to begin on August 1, and to require a single test within 72 hours of arrival in Hawaii, or undergo a 14 day quarantine, it’s just not good enough! According to Lt. Gov. Green, the plan is likely to permit 10 to 15 positive arriving cases per day to escape detection. Someone who tested negative no more than 72 hours before arriving in Hawaii could catch the virus in a restaurant, a public restroom, a taxi, an airport or anywhere else before boarding an airplane, or perhaps even on the flight itself! Without a second test after arrival, with a 5 or 6 day quarantine, it sounds like we would be inviting disaster to our shores.

According to an article in the Honolulu Star Advertiser, by Allison Schaefers, July 5, 2020, entitled “Lack of clear vision for pre-arrival testing program is hindering Hawaii’s tourism reopening”, “The clock is already ticking on the 30 day countdown to reopen Hawaii to visitors…” and “The absence of critical details so late in the game has left some Hawaii residents crying foul regardless of whether they want Hawaii tourism to run onto the field or remain sidelined. It’s also confusing for would-be travelers to Hawaii who can’t decide if the entry gates are open.” We believe we don’t have to sideline all tourism. We are for limited tourism with the added Public Health safety measure of the Kauai COVID group’s proposal of double testing. It’s an extremely difficult balance between the Public Health and economic vitality, but we must be on the side of common sense precautions to protect our health and to avoid another catastrophic economic downturn.

In the July 5, 2020, Advertiser article, two Hawaii State Reps. Bob McDermott and Gene Ward said in fact that “as far as they can tell, the only county in the state with a plan to restart tourism seems to be Kauai, where a hui made up of physicians and other experts has created an alternate plan.” In the same article, former Kauai County Council Chairman Mel Rapozo said he “supports the Kauai COVID group recommendations that require visitors take a pre-arrival test and another test six-days apart before being allowed out of a shorter quarantine. The priority should be on the health and safety of residents rather than the convenience of tourists, especially when the country is blowing up with cases right now.”

We hope Gov. Ige and his team will choose to adopt the Kauai COVID Committee plan to restart tourism in Hawaii, or at least to let Kauai decide for itself how to proceed in these dangerous and rapidly changing times.

•••

Fred and Marj Dente are residents of Kapaa.

22 Comments
  1. J.D. July 9, 2020 5:25 am Reply

    The virus is on your Island and will run it’s course. Stopping the economy drags out the inevitable. Until 70% of the citizens have antibodies it will continue to spread. Since over 99% of the cases are mild or have no symptoms Drs. recommend rest and fluids. Our county had one of the highest infection rates in the nation. Most everyone we know had the virus. Doctors said treat it like the flu. Is it really necessary to ruin lives over a mild case of the flu? Will the state shut down next flu season. The seasonal flu killed 650,000 people in 2018. Experts called this a “typical year”. In 2020 covid deaths are 488,729 and the world is coming to an end.


    1. D.A. July 9, 2020 10:54 am Reply

      Please cite your sources.


      1. crinwil July 9, 2020 4:57 pm Reply

        but here’s the problem. last year the flu killed 80,000 people in the united states – the highest number of dead in 40 years. this year, covid alone has killed over 130,000 people…..it is far more lethal…. and the year is not over.
        we opened up to inter island with no quarantine and went from 21 total cases and no new cases in 7 weeks, to 19 new cases in 2 weeks and rising. Just opening up to locals from other islands has almost doubled our numbers. Our island is very vulnerable.


      2. Aila R July 10, 2020 11:13 am Reply

        The body only carries antibodies for up to 3 months. Reinfection is a real possibility. This virus is novel and dangerous, and the scientific community is still trying to understand it


    2. Ron Rodarte July 9, 2020 7:06 pm Reply

      Sweden’s example is remarkably opposite your claims of immunity and economic benefit. Neither occurred and they have just as bad an economy as any other COVID affected nation with a terribly infected population. In the UK their latest studies have rejected any chances for a herd immunity to develop because there are no antibodies produced in sufficient amounts. COVID-19 is a cellular inflammation in the blood and affects the organs, it is not a flu, it is a contagious disease and it will cause organ damage.
      Testing before departure and upon arrival with a short 2-day quarantine for test results is entirely feasible and would cost little, spare Kaua’i from pandemic, and solve the overuse of tourism on the Garden Island. Tourism would likely benefit in the appreciation of the fair and open Aloha to visitors who prove their good health. I’d prefer the 2 test system because my chances of infection would be dramatically lower than anywhere else in the USA.


    3. Rev Dr Malama July 10, 2020 10:43 am Reply

      RM and all the other people commenting with (righteous indignation) are free to join the International community in acknowledging that the Hawai’ian Kingdom government is still in existence and the acting government is a complete FARCE… YOUR TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY IS WELL AWARE THAT YOU DO NOT AND CANNOT EVER HOLD CLEAR TITLE TO YOUR PROPERTY AND A WARRANTY DEED is just null and void in reality.
      So participate in the removal of the unlawful occupation or at least understand that mistakes you made in assuming you had total privilege to do whatever you want in a land not under a Treaty of Annexation but under invasion are going to be a real problem.
      Hawai’ians are poised to return to the lawful Aina…. sorry, not sorry……
      HAWAIIANKINGDOM.ORG


  2. Kauaidoug July 9, 2020 10:36 am Reply

    99%? We heard that figure over the 4th weekend and we know that is false. The rest of your letter means nothing.


  3. Peter July 9, 2020 11:08 am Reply

    You can no longer discuss keeping tourists out in order to keep residents safe, admittedly a very noble cause, without also discussing the economic consequences to prolonging such a shut down.

    How much have tax revenues fallen ? How many people will lose their jobs due to unavoidable County and State budget cuts ? How much longer can the State continue to pay unemployment benefits at the current or higher level ? How much money will the state need to borrow for every month it stays at the current economic level ? Where will that money come from ? How will it get repaid ?

    It’s easy to shout “Keep the tourists out!”, it’s a lot harder to do that AND look at the problem and come up with solutions to solve the state’s economic and financial crisis which is getting worse every day.


    1. JoAnn July 9, 2020 7:27 pm Reply

      The Kauai Plan does not say keep the tourists out. It says let visitors and returning residents re-enter Kauaʻi/Hawaiʻi, but DO IT SAFELY. Reopening safely is the ONLY way to get to sustained economic recovery. Kauai Visitor Bureau Executive Director Sue Kanoho has said that demand to come to Kauaʻi will fall if the island is re-infected badly. According to the Lt. Governor, under the August 1 plan, each day ten to 15 incoming travelers (visitors and returning residents) will come into Hawaiʻi with the virus, undetected. This means 300 to 500 infected incoming travelers per month. The second outbreak on Kauaʻi started with two infections that led to 20 cases and contact tracing of over 100 people. If you do the math, you will see that we will be overwhelmed in no time. Visitors wonʻt come, the economic situation will get worse and people in our families and the community will get sick and suffer, and some will die. Where will the money, jobs and revenues come from then? Doing the reopening safely is the only way to sustained economic recovery.


  4. Marquetta Walker July 9, 2020 12:42 pm Reply

    I agree you have to let the virus run it’s course. By delaying to reopen for tourism will create an environment of more positive spikes because not enough immunity within the communities. Why do visitors have to take two test! Are you all testing yourselves periodically every week after going to beaches, stores, public bathrooms, picking up prescriptions, pumping gas, opening store doors, parks, getting cash back at atms? No, your washing your hands and wearing masks.


  5. judi July 9, 2020 4:30 pm Reply

    Our mayor has done a wonderful job keeping the island safe from day one. Let’s not rush into opening especially now with all the new cases in Hawaii. If we have an outbreak on Kauai, how will we handle this and once the horse is out of the barn, we will not be able to get them back. It will take a sacrifice on the part of everyone to support our local businesses and fellow neighbors .


  6. R. M. July 9, 2020 5:03 pm Reply

    I have a place on Kauai. I live there about half the year, most years. I pay high property taxes for the privilege of owning that place. Between insurance, association dues, and utilities, I pay around $2000 per month for that privilege, whether I’m there or not. I last left there left in late January, planning to return late February. Then, this all happened and I did the right thing, given the circumstances, and didn’t come back as planned and was going to wait it out until the first surge was over. I’ve been stuck over here on the mainland since then, with items decaying in my refrigerator back on the island, having no idea what the overall condition of the place is, nor any way to find out. Sure, I could come back and plant my *** in the condo for two weeks, with no groceries, no toilet paper, no exercise, no nothing except harassment until my two weeks are up. I’ve had to purchase new clothes because mine are inaccessible there. How dare you? I don’t get a vacation from bills like you all are getting. I want a rebate on my taxes, if nothing else. Sure, this is scary for all of us…But be aware, there are other perspectives than yours. You cannot deny people use of their property for long with no consequences.


    1. JAMES July 10, 2020 7:49 am Reply

      So we are supposed to feel bad for you because you choose not to visit your vacation home and quarantine for 14 days like everyone else has to do? Call a “waaambulance”. Sell your vacation home, hire someone to check it out or come here yourself and quarantine. There are much more serious problems than yours.


    2. ParadiseLost July 10, 2020 4:14 pm Reply

      You live here less than half the year to avoid paying local income taxes because you don’t really want to contribute to the island or the state, instead you just want to keep housing out of the hands of locals who need it. Maybe being stuck on the mainland is just your Karma. I don’t really care about your perspective; As you pointed out you aren’t even a full time resident.


  7. Kai July 9, 2020 10:44 pm Reply

    I think the mayor doing a good job at keeping Kauai safe and our elders safe mahalo mayor thank you for the rules that have kept us safe and if tourism suffers so be it to keep Kauai safe it’s worth it


  8. LTEreader July 9, 2020 11:35 pm Reply

    R.M.
    *Nobody, from day one, has denied you access to your property!
    *There are shopping services (even more right now) that can deliver food & toilet paper. *You can fire up your Netflix or Prime account for some exercise videos.
    *As for “harassment”? There’s been too many that can’t behave like adults and adhere to their quarantine; it’s not harassment, more a case of babysitting those that have no respect for Kauai’i residents & the sacrifices we’ve made in recent months!
    *The majority of us have had to sit on our ***es for quite some time in an effort to keep everyone healthy here. What makes you so special that you can’t do 14 days?
    *A large percentage of us have lost our jobs, and many are struggling to pay their rent, utilities & food, but you refer to this as a “vacation from bills”. Really? “How dare you” too.
    *And the icing on the cake … you have the audacity to whine about your dirty fridge in your SECOND home. Talk about first world problems! Gesh. Mic drop.


  9. Howard Gee July 10, 2020 5:37 am Reply

    As your Covid-5 Committee studies a plan of action for the future, I would recommend investigating the data on a new test from Israel. According to a report yesterday they have an accurate test that is like a breathalyser test, with the results revealed in only one minute.


  10. Kauaidoug July 10, 2020 11:03 am Reply

    RM. Again REALLY? How sad your groceries rotting. What about all the months I have a feeling you have made money renting your condo? Excuse NE but your princeville/poipu whining doesn’t play here. Your clothes? Give me a #@$ break. Tax rebate? Give us all a break and sell your damn condo, Hoa fees and all to someone a bit more,,, understanding. I bet there’s a nice condo near Mar a Lago with your name on it and a ventilator just waiting. PAU


  11. M.E. July 10, 2020 12:22 pm Reply

    What about returning residents? Will we be subject to staying in a “quarantine hotel” for six days or are we allowed to return to our homes?


    1. SimpleSolutions July 13, 2020 4:57 pm Reply

      Quarantine Hotel????? Don’t you mean concentration camp? What has the mayor and his staff done to prepare for the next wave of Covid to hit our shores? How many more hosiptal beds, ICU units, and PPE supplies are on the island today than we had back in March?


  12. steven July 10, 2020 1:55 pm Reply

    High property tax, high unemployment, high drug usage, high food prices, homeless living at beaches, failing historic towns, failing businesses and a state heading toward bankruptcy. Kauai should be advertised as a very sad place to visit. But safe, don’t forget safe.


  13. Kalehua July 11, 2020 6:29 am Reply

    RM your complaints are unbelievable. These other responses show the selfishness of your outrage. You had to buy new clothes! Give us a break mate. What do you wear the other six months when you live somewhere else?


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