Kaua‘i waiting for state’s lead on vaccine passport

LIHU‘E — The County of Kaua‘i is working on a vaccine passport in coordination with the state.

Mayor Derek Kawakami made the announcement Monday, during his Team Kaua‘i COVID-19 Briefing.

“An increasing number of countries allow visitors only if they have been vaccinated or have had COVID-19,” Kawakami said.

The plan, Kawakami said, would exempt travelers from the 10-day travel quarantine without a pre-travel test.

Currently, the only way to bypass the quarantine is with a negative COVID-19 test taken 72-hours prior to arrival by a state-approved partner and uploaded onto the state’s Safe Travels app.

From the week of April 11-17, a total of 16,799 travelers came onto the island. The majority, 13,269 were visitors and 3,530 were residents. A total of 15,891 were exempt from the quarantine by taking a pre-travel negative COVID-19 test.

The state is leading these plans and more information is geared to be released later this week, a county spokesperson said.

On Monday, Gov. David Ige suggested that an interisland vaccine passport is in the works for interisland travel during an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. In interviews, Lt. Gov. Josh Green stated that an interisland passport should start in May.

Dr. Damien Kapono Chong-Hanssen Medical Director at Ho‘ola Lahui Hawai‘i/Kaua‘i Community Health Center said the timing is in favor of an immunity passport in Hawai‘i.

“A vaccine passport is a good idea,” Chong-Hanssen said. “We have good enough scientific data at this time.”

However, one of the challenges is that there has been no established federal registry to document vaccines amongst states.

On a county level, Chong-Hanssen said those are being trained to transition to a new platform that will track and verify inoculations and dosages in the state.

“These things always take a little time to get into the rhythm,” Chong-Hanssen said.

In partnership with the Malama Pono Health Services, Ho‘ola Lahui Hawai‘i has been hosting vaccine clinics at public housing as well as performing outreach to other vulnerable populations like the houseless, homebound and Marshallese and Pacific Islander communities along with the state’s Department of Health Kaua‘i District Office.

Just last weekend, vaccine clinics were able to inoculate 54 individuals in Koloa, Hanama‘ulu and ‘Ele‘ele, focusing on public housing spaces and working with property managers.

Overall, according to the county, there have been more than 55,000 dosages of COVID-19 vaccines distributed on Kaua‘i.

Chong-Hanssen did recognize that the World Health Organization has spoken out against vaccine passports because vaccines are not as easily accessible across the globe, but remained hopeful efforts on Kaua‘i are working toward equality.

Already, on Kaua‘i, all residents 16 and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines at clinics throughout the county, including local pharmacies, supermarkets and clinics.

At the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall, residents age 60 and older can attend walk-in appointments Tuesday through Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m. Walk-ins, at that time, are also available to those with limited English proficiency.

Fully vaccinated individuals who are later identified as close contacts of a positive case are exempt from the state’s mandatory quarantine but asked to monitor symptoms.

Kawakami, Monday, noted that in the county’s sole active case reported over the week, all close contacts were fully vaccinated and were not subject to quarantine.

  1. Z April 20, 2021 6:53 am Reply

    gailzielen@yahoo.com how they say it piss or get off the pot how w many times are they going to change the rules for visitors coming to the islands. Your vaccinated ,u need a covid test 72 hours here arriving , then one 3 days after arrival n this get me me inflated car rental prices. Then if you want to go to the beach it’s going to cost u 50 dollars for a parking permit a day. Plus 5 dollars a day for a permit to just to use the beach. What a money grab. Just too many rules to follow is it really worth the trip.

  2. SoG April 20, 2021 9:12 am Reply

    It’s crazy how many people are still taking the vaccines even after the fact that the CDC is admitting that the Johnson and Johnson covid vaccines are killing people. The fact of the matter is that the vaccines won’t prevent you from getting covid nor will it prevent you from transmitting it. They say the your symptoms won’t be as bad but who knows what the long term effects of the vaccine will be if there are no safety tests. If you take it you are a human guinea pig. Don’t be more afraid of the virus than how the government will control you.

  3. Hey. April 20, 2021 11:58 am Reply

    No. How about we take a stand for personal and medical freedoms. This whole thing is a bad joke at this point.

  4. truth be known April 20, 2021 12:57 pm Reply

    I’m afraid this is going to present a problem down the road for Kauai as the RNA jab does not actually prevent one from acquiring COVID, it merely makes the symptoms less severe once the person is infected. It is not a “vaccine” and it is false information to refer to it as one. By not requiring fully vaccinated close contacts to quarantine may actually increase the spread of this deadly, 99% survivable disease.

  5. Kama'aina April 20, 2021 3:02 pm Reply

    Chong-Hanssen said. “We have good enough scientific data at this time.”
    The data shows that you can contract and transmit covid when fully vaccinated. What good is a passport that says that you are equally able to have and give covid to someone as a person that has not been vaccinated? What good does having proof that you have been vaccinated so you do not have to get tested but may be carrying covid right now as you are coming to Kauai? The logic is ridiculous. If covid is the life threatening pandemic we are being told it is wouldn’t we want test everyone everywhere everyday?

  6. Sandra Clark April 20, 2021 4:22 pm Reply

    I just want to go on my vacation.

  7. Jude April 20, 2021 5:38 pm Reply

    So it seems to me that so far the only case recently came from a household that was vaccinated. I am at a total loss of the logic here! This makes zero sense that a passport is necessary. The “vaccine” is not a vaccine against Covid. It only states that if someone gets Covid their symptoms may be lessened. This does not stop a vaccinated person from being any more safe than an unvaccinated. In fact, quite the opposite. If it lessens the symptoms, then how will the “vaccinated” person that has little to no symptoms know that they have it and are contagious? I’d actually prefer to be around unvaccinated people. At least if they have a sickness, they should know it and take appropriate precautions. Just something to think about before you endorse a ridiculous passport. Pathetic!

  8. Jim Fincher April 24, 2021 5:37 pm Reply

    Kauai has made it more difficult for visitors than any place in the U.S. Or do you feel that your citizens are more “entitled” than the rest of the states as well as the Hawaiian Islands. I can have little sympathy that you have the highest unemployment in the Hawaiian Islands. I love Kauai. We were married at Princeville 27 years ago I go back at least every other year. I will have the 72 hour Covid test in order to come back this year My wife and I have been vaccinated with both doses of Pfizer for more than a month. We have grown to expect an attitude of abuse and overcharging of visitors. The spirit of Aloha no longer exists in Kauai. All have suffered from what China has wrought on the world. It is time to come together not to exclude. You are a part of the U.S. start to act like you value other Americans for other than just the almighty $$$$.

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