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First, the good news: Keep bending the curve, Hawaiʻi

Posted on Apr 30, 2020 in Capitol Connection, Featured
The green line is the U.S. case total; the pink line is Hawai’i.

The green line is the U.S. case total; the pink line is Hawai’i.

Hawai‘i continues to rank as one of the best-performing states in the country in dealing with COVID-19. That’s according to recent reports and data from Johns Hopkins University, which shows Hawai‘i is “flattening the curve” with a rate of coronavirus cases per capita far below the national rate. “Our travel quarantines, early testing, stay-at-home orders, closing all but essential businesses, and mandating masks and physical distancing have all made a huge difference in keeping everyone safe,” said the governor. Department of Health director Bruce Anderson added, “We have that extraordinary protection right now, but we can’t continue it forever. When we do open for travel, the disease can be introduced again, and we need to be ready to respond quickly.”

National data also shows that Hawai‘i tests for coronavirus at a considerably higher rate than most states, according to a Vox article charting the course of the pandemic. But Tim Brown, a senior fellow at the East-West Center with expertise in infectious disease, said before the state can lift the state shutdown, it must have the capacity to more rapidly test suspected cases, quickly trace their contacts and quarantine people as needed. He said the state also needs “data to inform triggers for reimposing lockdown should the epidemic surge.”

Read more in the May Capitol Connection newsletter

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