Mayor lauds quarantine efforts

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Police Department is currently monitoring more than 1,300 people in quarantine on Kaua‘i, Mayor Derek Kawakami said Friday.

On Thursday, 1,605 people arrived in the state, 43 directly onto Kaua‘i, according to the Hawai’i Tourism Authority. Both trans-Pacific and interisland travelers are required to self-quarantine for two weeks.

“Our county has committed significant resources to tracking airline passenger arrivals,” Kawakami said in his daily COVID-19 video. “We believe that our level of precaution is helping to keep our COVID-19 numbers low. The work involves long hours, seven days a week, and we owe a special debt of gratitude to all our community members who are helping manage our traveler-quarantine system.”

On Aug. 18, Gov. David Ige announced a plan to reopen interstate travel without the 14-day mandatory quarantine has been postponed to Oct. 1.

Friday, the state announced the Safe Travels app will be mandatory for travelers Sept. 1. The app collects health and travel information and digitizes the current paper process. The application will be provided to the state’s Department of Health and state Department of the Attorney General and county law enforcement, according to a press release.

“I am pleased to launch this digital app which will allow our travelers to provide their required health and travel information before they arrive at the airport,” Ige said in a statement. “It will also help us keep in contact with those who are required to be in quarantine. This is an important step in preparing to reopen our economy.”

The app was developed with Google and its partner, SpringML, for $638,000 for the initial implementation, according to a state press release.

The app will give travelers the ability to verify passenger-contact information before arrival, to speed up processing, collect health and contact information and create a QR code to be used by airport screeners to review information. The app also had automated, generated quarantine check-in reminders.

Currently, all travelers must fill out a “Kaua‘i Arrival Form.” Additionally, trans-Pacific travelers must fill out a “Traveler Declaration Form,” which is used by the KVB to check on the traveler daily, in addition to KPD visits.

The county continues to utilize a checkpoint at Lihu‘e Airport with the support of the Hawai‘i National Guard and assistance of the county’s Planning Department and Finance Department’s Real Property Division offices, who verify quarantine locations.

“These folks ensure that those subject to quarantine are staying at an allowable quarantine location,” Kawakami said. This would need to be a residence for a returning resident or a hotel for a visitor.

“This review process generally takes roughly 45 minutes after arrival. For incoming travelers who do not have an allowed quarantine location, they have the opportunity to make alternate accommodations or return home.”

Modified quarantines have been granted for those who work in critical infrastructure, as defined by state guidelines. This could be those working in the health-care sector, manufacturing, emergency services, food and agriculture, among other jobs.

One on modified quarantine is limited to leaving their quarantine location only while working. Activities like grocery-shopping, heading to the beach or eating out are prohibited.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 70 people have been arrested for quarantine violations on the island.

Trans-Pacific travelers looking to get a modified quarantine while on Kaua‘i must email requests to covidexemption@hawaii.gov. Interisland travelers seeking a modified quarantine can visit kauai.gov/COVID-19 for a request form.

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Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

2 Comments
  1. J.D. August 29, 2020 7:23 am Reply

    Quarantines are for sick people. Lock downs and internment’s are for healthy people.


    1. D.A. August 29, 2020 4:05 pm Reply

      And what if the residents don’t know the status of the person in question?

      From a popular online dictionary:
      Quarantine
      noun
      a strict isolation imposed to prevent the spread of disease.

      Other definitions include suspicion or unknown state of disease.

      You’re really dramatic about this. Why don’t you believe the government is trying to protect people?


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