Hawaii in disarray over planned October 15th start of pre-travel testing program

Cat Herding

It’s astounding that this late in the process, Hawaii leaders can’t agree on the way forward to test and allow visitors into the state. As we shared yesterday, Hawaii (Big) Island Mayor Kim has opted out of the pre-travel testing program. Could other islands follow?

In a statement on Facebook, Kauai Mayor Kawakami says,

“We have not yet made a determination. Decisions must be deliberate and we can’t commit to plans we don’t fully understand. Our goal from the beginning has been to supplement the Governor and Lt. Governor’s statewide travel plan. The option to opt out is a recent development. As we understand it, our proposal was denied in part because the state aimed for consistency across the board, so visitors would not be confused. How does the option to opt out achieve that goal? If each county were to opt out, where does that leave the statewide travel plan? We need more details on what an “opt out” means for the counties, and whether that provides the option for us to implement a single-test post-arrival program.
“If we were to remain in the program, the Lt. Governor has committed to implementing enhanced testing, such as a surveillance testing program, and we look forward to hearing details on how that will be implemented on October 15.
“Our goal is not to extend a mandatory 14-day quarantine in perpetuity. Our goal is to keep our community safe while we take a phased, responsible approach to reopening. We believed we could do that by offering an enhanced second-test program.”

Maui Mayor Victorino didn’t host a Facebook press conference or make any statements like the Kauai mayor did on October 6th, but has previously urged for a similar two-step opening.

The quickest way for you to get a glimpse of this state of disarray is to watch these two news segments:

Why is it the expression “cat herding” now comes to mind?

We hope you enjoy a little cat humor to help us get though all these uncertain policies.

  1. We had our air booked to go to Oahu and Hawaii Island starting the 15th. When the news from Mayor Kim came out, we cancelled our booking. I am more than comfortable with the State of Hawaii deciding whatever it wishes to do so as to keep its people safe. However, whatever the decision, it needs to be clear, consistent, statewide, announced well in advance, and not a moving target. Until then, we simply can’t travel there again. (This would have been trip #10, I believe.)

  2. I fully understand the mayors being very cautious. Here on the mainland, I wish we could limit visitors from places that simply disregard proper precautions. These are unprecedented times (well, almost), and once the disease is on island, it’s going to be very difficult to get rid of. I agree with David from Oregon, though, that the policy must be clear. It must also be enforceable, given that there are always people who think the rules are for everyone else.

  3. As I have said before, I’m ok with a test after landing at the airport. I’m even ok with a test 3 days after landing at the airport. They can even have me perform the test on web cam to “observe it” (that’s how United does their mail in test). I’m NOT ok with being herded into a cage (even if it’s a room at the Ritz) for 3 days to wait to be tested. I’m NOT getting on some bus to be transported to that cage (I don’t even do Uber anymore…and I get a credit with one of my CC so it’s free…free inoculation with Covid!). UNTIL THE DEFINE THEIR PROCESS, BEST TO STAY AWAY FROM HAWAII.

  4. As I commented before on another article, why spend the money to go to a place that clearly doesn’t want me? Nobody can question how unbelievably beautiful Hawaii is, but treating visitors from the mainland like criminal disease vectors is insane.

  5. I’m not ok with any testing once I arrive. I will take a test before I get there, but that’s it for me. I will wear a mask and social distance as I do here.
    When I travel, I don’t want ANY disruption, for any reason.

  6. Is the Vault health test approved by the program? They claim so. Seems relatively simple. Order the test kit pay $150, contact them via Zoom, perform your sample collection at home, ship the tube to them, get your result. Does it work in Hawaii too? In addition the white house just purchased 150 million Abbott rapid antigen tests and Gov Ige will get his cut of 6million of them to use as he sees fit. Those could be used to administer home tests of travelers using Zoom just like Vault Health does. Those are much cheaper and you get a result at home (or a lodging of your choice). I don’t see why these politicians need to herd tourists.

    1. Lt. Gov. Josh Green has mentioned Vault as a testing partner. If they are indeed approved, I hope the the hawaiicovid19.com/travel site would list them as an option. At the moment, they only list CVS and Kaiser. I’m hoping that’s just a lag in getting the website up to date, but with so many people relying on the information on that page, it needs to be updated soon.

      1. Interesting way of testing. Any mention of how long it takes to receive test results.

  7. I know I am in sync with 99.5% of visitors to Hawaii. We all love Hawaii but I refuse to go if I have to quarantine and/or do a second test. I can be abused at home. I don’t need to be abused on vacation. Obviously Covid-19 is already in Hawaii or you wouldn’t have any cases. If 99.5% of normal visitors are no longer going to Hawaii, how is the virus being transmitted? If I were moving to Hawaii, this would be an ideal time as you would just quarantine for 14 days and have the beaches all to yourself. I wish the government officials would talk to each other and come up with a comprehensive plan that we can all follow and understand.

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