Editor’s Note: Questions about stay-at-home orders can be submitted to tinyurl.com/TFIQ-A and The Garden Island staff will do our best to find you an answer. We will continue to share answers throughout the week. Contact the Hawai‘i Department of Health or your physician for official COVID-19 symptoms and steps to take if you think you have the virus.
Q: Where on Kaua‘i are the known cases of COVID-19? Which areas are we to be extra vigilant?
A: As of April 1, there are 258 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i, and 12 of these cases are on Kaua‘i.
Due to HIPPA laws, the exact locations and names of patients will not be released. However, the Department of Health has created a graphic that’s updated with preliminary data every Monday at noon. The most up-to-date map indicates there is no specific region on the island that has more than 1-5 coronavirus infections, and it is found throughout the island, with no cases reported to the west.
It remains important to stay vigilant in high-trafficked areas like grocery stores and continue to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Q: Why are we accepting tourists to come here?
A: State and local governments are aiming to limit movements with various stay-at-home orders, curfews and mandatory self-quarantines. While travel is still allowed to the state, there are heavy restrictions on movement. Among these rules are Gov. David Ige’s orders to remain at home, save for those who work for essential businesses. Ige has also ordered a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for travelers, whether they are tourists or residents.
Last month, Mayor Derek Kawakami has stated that, “Kaua‘i is on vacation.” Airline travel has decreased dramatically since that statement, and according to one report from the Star-Advertiser, only 826 passengers (167 visitors) flew into the state on Sunday. Most travel has been limited to essential businesses.
Tourist use at hotels and motels is explicitly discouraged per the Mayor’s Emergency Rule No. 5. And tourists and visitors using these properties are “not allowed to utilize any common spaces like pools, game rooms, and spas, etc.” and must have all food and items delivered to their door.
Additionally, as part of Rule No. 4, non-residents are required to pay for limited beach permits and parking passes. Bars, clubs, theaters, entertainment centers and visitor attractions are all closed. These are all to increase social distancing measures and deter tourism (as well as resident use).
When visitors land, they are given declaration forms, whether from the mainland, international or inter-island travel and reminded of the 14-day quarantine. On Kaua‘i, the use of checkpoints have been created to enforce these rules.
Q: Is it OK to send an 8-year-old to play at his friend’s house?
A: For the safety of everyone involved and in practicing social distancing, play dates should be canceled. However, child care service for essential employees is allowed, as long as class sizes, including the teacher, do not include more than five individuals, the rule states.
On the bright side, keep kids occupied with J.K. Rowling’s newly released “Harry Potter at Home.” This wizarding world features puzzles, games and the audiobook of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”
Source: The Garden Island