LIHU‘E — On Sunday, the county held its last free surge testing event, and now the focus is being directed toward vaccine clinics.
As of Dec. 23, Hawai‘i has received a total of 33,450 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, with close to 4,000 shipped to Kaua‘i, according to the Department of Health.
Current vaccination clinics are ongoing for health care workers, first responders and essential workers. Those in this group who have not been registered by their employer or the Department of Health may schedule an appointment at 346-9605.
Those in this group include those working at practices like a dentist, physical therapist, mental health professionals and other non-physician practices.
“As additional vaccine shipments become available, they will continue to be offered to essential workers, then our kupuna over the age of 75, and those who have chronic health conditions,” Mayor Derek Kawakami said Monday. “Other groups will be offered the vaccines in the months to come as more become available. At this time, there is no COVID-19 vaccine approved for children.”
The county is still awaiting word on a new program that would allow incoming travelers to test out of quarantine while staying at a resort bubble property.
The county sent the rule for state approval last Wednesday, Dec. 23. In the past, Gov. David Ige had suggested rules would be approved or denied within a day.
If accepted by Ige, incoming travelers with a negative pre-travel test staying at a county-approved resort bubble property would be able to bypass the state-mandated 10-day quarantine with a negative post-arrival COVID-19 test taken after at least three days on island.
The program would also allow travelers to utilize COVID-19 tests not included the state’s trusted partners for both the pre-travel and post-travel test as long as it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization.
Independent of the state’s Safe Travels program, this rule would be specific to those staying at Enhance Movement resort bubble properties. Those who are not staying at a resort bubble, would be required to quarantine the full 1o days at a private residence or hotel property.
This program, if approved, would go into effect Tuesday, January 5, 2021. The Office of the Governor could not provide a timeline on whether Ige will approve the request.