HONOLULU — Honolulu reserved hundreds of rooms at two hotels so Oahu has more space for people to go into coronavirus quarantine.
Officials booked 221 rooms from Oct. 15 to Dec. 30 at the Park Shore Hotel in Waikiki to isolate those who have been exposed to the virus or are required to quarantine after travel.
The Park Shore rooms can be used in phases of 80, 150 or all 221 with five days’ notice to the hotel, a city statement said.
Honolulu also partnered with the Hawaii Department of Health to establish a second temporary quarantine center at the Waikiki Beachside, where 46 units were reserved.
The units with on-site parking and laundry will include health services, meals and light housekeeping provided by the health department.
“How we control the spread is by isolation and quarantine,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said.
About 8,000 people landed in Hawaii on Thursday — the first day travelers could come to the islands without quarantining for two weeks if they could produce a negative coronavirus test.
As tourism comes back, Caldwell said he expects the number of infections to grow.
“We want to prepare for any possible increase in COVID-19 cases and to keep impacts controlled to ensure that the city can support the opening of businesses and the restart of the island economy,” Caldwell said.
Quarantine facilities also will be available to anyone who can’t isolate at home, including first responders and health care workers.
The hotel rooms are expected to be paid from the city’s share of federal coronavirus recovery funds.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.