Quarantine waiver could cause cases to skyrocket
Who else sees the flaw of the Oct. 15 implementation of waiving quarantine for travelers coming to Hawai‘i with a 72-hour prior negative COVID-19 test?
If a tested passenger sits near an untested, contagious traveler, they could pass on the virus unknowingly and infect the island. The odds, with thousands of travelers a day, make it a certainty in a matter of time. Then there’s a safer solution: Test incoming travelers a second time five to six days after their arrival and have them quarantine until negative. But that decent idea hits a snag when Kaua‘i and other islands don’t have the capacity to test that kind of incoming volume a second time on arrival.
I believe the 72-hour, pre-travel test to avoid quarantine is done primarily to recover tourism dollars, with holes in the safety net that are being overlooked due to financial pressure at the expense of citizen health.
The concept of visitor vacation bubbles on their resorts is also, sadly, a joke. Sooner or later, a visitor at a resort will pass the virus to a resort worker who spreads it to family and community before they are even aware of it.
Our cases would skyrocket. It’s not special powers to see that happening. The pono path is to patch those loopholes before allowing a faulty safety-net plan to proceed and keep the 14-day quarantine until the safety net is solid.
God bless us all, including blessing the governor and mayor to take the safe route for our citizens.
Jenn Tyler, Kapa‘a
Doctor calls on mayor for better reopening plan
I’ve been impressed by your leadership and vocal strength as our leader here on Kaua‘i.
I am a physician on the North Shore, have been for 18 years. I also work as an ER doctor on Moloka‘i, a job I’ve held for as long.
I was made aware of Mr. Ige’s plan to open the state to tourism with a single test within 72 hours by a patient, who expressed great anxiety. This became a theme in my clinical day yesterday.
Later, I heard schools are opening on the same day.
I’d like to express my concern for Ige’s policy, as it falls short. I also would like to offer my services as a liaison. I believe I could gather 50 to 100 signatures of doctors opining this testing policy falls short.
I would like to recommend at least a 48-hour quarantine with repeat testing on day two of tourists’ arrival. Turnaround time is 24 to 36 hours. I could even form a team to test these visitors in their homes, and could coordinate with lab to streamline testing-turnaround time.
Please let me know if I may be of service. I am concerned for the welfare of the community, and with governor’s plan as is, can almost confirm a sharp spike in Kaua‘i’s cases. It is the health and safety of this community I love that is my only concern and sole item of agenda.
Steve Rogoff, MD, Kilauea