Prevention of Travel-related Reintroduction of COVID-19 Infection in the State of Hawaii

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This plan proposes to limit travel-related reintroduction of COVID-19 into Hawaii, averting further local transmission of the virus from travelers to the community. The plan is epidemiologically sound and conceptually straightforward. Air passengers cleared to travel by screening for specific markers will pose a much smaller risk of transmission to Hawaii residents. Individuals clearing both (1) temperature and symptom screening in their departure city and (2) a COVID-19 test in their departure city will not be required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival in Hawaii. Specific timelines for testing relative to embarkation are provided.

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9 thoughts on “Prevention of Travel-related Reintroduction of COVID-19 Infection in the State of Hawaii”

    1. Sumner La Croix

      Both French Polynesia, and Alaska require pre-departure RT-PCR tests for all air passengers or they must face a 14-day quarantine. New Zealand and Australia, both currently not receiving visitors, are considering requiring a pre-departure test. As more Pacific destinations require a test, it becomes more likely that airlines, hotels, and the State of Hawaii will become more comfortable with a pre-departure testing policy.

    2. Our daughter will be an incoming freshman at UH at Manoa this August and we are wondering how we are going to move her in from the mainland with the 14 day quarantine. Would this be something we could do to avoid the quarantine?

  1. What about transmission cases where community spread from Hawaii reaches visitors (local-visitor transmission)? Shouldn’t there also be drastic pushes to ramp up local testing to match the population count so as to isolate and contain cases of community spread within the community, and thereby preventing spread to visitors? We should be testing locally anyway to help contain the community spread that appears to be in the islands already.

    1. Sumner La Croix

      Aloha Taui,

      Thanks you for the comment. Yes, I agree with you. DOH should be doing much testing of community groups at risk for COVID-19. Right now, DOH policy is only to test symptomatic people. That has to change if Hawaii is to continue to contain the epidemic.

      Sumner

  2. When will this plan be put into practice? And, what about those who live in Hawaii who wish to travel to the mainland, will they have to get a test before they board the plane to leave to the mainland and then again when they return? What if travelers have multiple stops on the return flight back to Hawaii? Where will people get these tests? Will travelers have to have a doctor’s approval for these tests?

  3. Sumner La Croix

    Aloha Brenda,

    Thanks for the comment. Our plan is very similar to the plan being developed by Lt. Governor Josh Green. I’m hoping Governor Ige will announce a visitor testing plan in the next few days. When/where will travelers get tested if they have several legs of travel? Before their first leg of travel. The idea is to have testing centers all around the US, perhaps at Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Costco. Showing an air ticket for a long-distance flight would be sufficient for a test to be ordered–but this point still needs to be worked out with DOHs in other states.

    Sumner

  4. Hello, this seems like a great plan. My fiancé and I cancelled our July wedding due to the pandemic, and had optimistically planned on doing a small ceremony with just the officiant, and then us honeymooning in Hawaii, leaving Vermont at the end of July. Vermont is also a low numbers state that has done a good job of containing COVID-19. We will take any sort of test that would allow us to get on the plane and celebrate our marriage in your tropical paradise. We could try to rebook for the beginning of August but that’s not ideal for a number of reasons. Yes we do have trip insurance, but…

    Any sense of when this sensible plan will actually be implemented? Thank you and aloha!

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