LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i is reentering the state’s Safe Travels program on Monday, April 5, and as the island prepares to welcome back more travelers, the County of Kaua‘i is also starting to reopen some doors and restructure some rules at the Lihu‘e Civic Center Kapule Building.
The Kapule Building houses the Finance and Planning departments and offices of Motor Vehicle Registration, Real Property Assessment Division, Real Property Tax Billing/Collection and others.
Beginning Monday, April 5, there will no longer be a requirement for customers to answer health- and travel-related questions when visiting the Kapule Building.
Customers will still be required to undergo a temperature check before entering the building, and social-distancing guidelines will be continue to be enforced. Masks will still be required for entry and service.
While some procedures are being rolled back for entrance into the Kapule Building, many departments and offices are still requiring online appointments to be booked for many services (see the information box).
All motor-vehicle services, for example, are available by appointment, which can only be booked online.
Road-test appointments, however, must be made via phone.
The county also encourages people to pay their vehicle registrations at kiosks located in the Lihu‘e and Waipouli Safeway, at Ishihara Market in Waimea, by mail, or via the drop lox located outside the Kapule Building.
Real-property assessment and billing/collections offices are open for walk-in services, with no appointments necessary.
The Planning Department also encourages booking appointments online for services, but is reopening its front counter for walk-in services with no appointments necessary starting Monday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays except county holidays.
There were seven active cases of COVID-19 on Kaua‘i Thursday, with all of those in isolation and no one hospitalized, according to the county. The state Department of Health reported four of those as new cases on Thursday.
Three of the new cases are residents who are household contacts of the two cases announced Wednesday, and are classified as travel-related. The fourth case is a female visitor whose source of infection is related to inter-island travel, and who was diagnosed off-island.
As of Thursday, the county reported administering more than 43,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Kaua‘i, and will be moving into the second phase of the vaccination program Monday. This means all residents ages 16 and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines at clinics around the island.
Sixteen- and 17-year-olds are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine at this time. Appointments for 16- and 17-year-olds must be made at Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waimea, Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital in Kapa‘a or Wilcox Medical Center.
Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved only for people 18 and older.
For those wishing to receive the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the DOH added an additional clinic date on Monday, April 5, at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e.
To sign up, complete the DOH Kaua‘i District Health Office survey at kauai.gov/vaccine. After completing the survey, applicants will receive instructions via email on how to schedule appointments.
Rejoining the state Safe Travels program allows those flying from out of state to avoid the 10-day quarantine if they follow the rules of the program, including taking a pre-travel test within 72 hours of leaving for Kaua‘i.
Some county offices reopening
LIHU‘E — Following are a few of the county offices reopening for in-person service:
• Motor vehicle registration: firstname.lastname@example.org, 241-4256; appointment required;
• Driver’s licensing: email@example.com, 241-4242; appointment required;
• Real property assessment: firstname.lastname@example.org, 241-4224; no appointment required;
• Real property collections: email@example.com, 241-4272; no appointment required;
• Planning Department: firstname.lastname@example.org, 241-4050; no appointment required.
Jessica Else, editor, can be reached at 245-0457 or email@example.com.