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Posted on Oct 22, 2020 in COVID-19, COVID-19 News Releases, Latest Department News, Newsroom

Governor’s Office:

State, City Leaders Responding to COVID-19 Cases on Lāna‘i 

In a news briefing today, Gov. David Ige addressed the recent COVID-19 cases on Lāna‘i. Gov. Ige said, “We are working with Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino, Sen. English and Rep. DeCoite to aggressively respond. DOH is sending a testing team today and there will be community testing on Saturday … We are going to continue working with everyone to identify, isolate, and treat those who are infected.” He added that DHS and HI-EMA helped to secure 2,500 masks that will be distributed on Lāna‘i. More information about the Lāna‘i cases are in DOH’s section of this Daily News Digest.  

State Preparing COVID-19 Vaccination Program 

At the same briefing, Gov. Ige gave an update on the vaccination distribution plan framework the state has been developing. While he says the best estimates indicate an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine will not be available for months, the state wants to have distribution structures and procedures in place that will allow everyone to be able to access the vaccine as quickly and efficiently as possible. Gov. Ige said, “Epidemiologists who study immunity say at least 60% to 70% of the population need to have immunity to a virus to break the chain of transmission.” He also added, “The impact of our vaccination program and its effectiveness in managing the disease will largely depend upon our ability to allocate and administer the vaccine effectively and efficiently. This is as important as the vaccine itself.”

Lt. Governor Josh Green said, “We’re still refining our vaccination plan, but we felt it was important to share what we are developing and provide a preview of what to expect. This has to be a coordinated effort between the state and counties. It will also require extensive outreach and education to healthcare providers and their patients. Everyone’s kōkua is critical to the success of the vaccination plan, so we must make sure roles and responsibilities are clearly defined.” In a news release, DOH Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char added, “A COVID-19 vaccination has been presented as our ticket to better health and restoration of a sense of normalcy. But it’s incumbent upon the DOH’s Disease Outbreak Control Division Immunization Branch and our partners to lead this initiative and make sure we get this right, starting with using a safe and effective, FDA-approved vaccine.”

The plan outlines four priority groups that would get the vaccine, which will be available in limited supply:

  1. The first group includes high-risk healthcare employees at hospitals, nursing homes or those engaged in home care, and others involved with direct patient care. First responders who have high risk for COVID-19 exposure also fall into this group. Hawai‘i residents of all ages who have underlying health conditions, including those 65 and older who live in congregate settings are also included.
  2. The second priority group includes K-12 teachers and school staff as well as those in essential industries. It also includes those with underlying health conditions that put them at moderately higher risk. People in homeless shelters or group homes with physical or mental disabilities and workers who serve them also fall into this category. People in prisons, jails, detention centers, and similar facilities, and staff who work in these settings as well as all adults age 65 and older also fall within this second priority group.
  3. The third priority group are young adults 18 to 22 years old and children, from newborn to 17 years old. It also includes employees in industries or occupations not in the previous groups that are considered essential but face increased risk of exposure.
  4. The fourth group includes all Hawai‘i residents who did not fall in any of the other priority groups.

The draft still needs to be reviewed and vetted by the Centers for Disease Control. To view an executive summary of plan go to:

Governor Approves City and County of Honolulu Move to Tier 2 of Reopening Plan 

The City and County of Honolulu has moved into Tier 2 of Honolulu’s Reopening Strategy. Gov. Ige signed off on Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s new order yesterday afternoon. Tier 2 eases restrictions for residents and visitors, such as allowing people to dine-in with friends and family outside of their household in groups of less than five, arcades can reopen at 25% capacity, legal short-term rentals can reopen, personal care services can operate indoors, gyms can reopen at 25% capacity, and more. In a news briefing yesterday Mayor Caldwell said, “I’m asking all of us to please do our very best, so we remain in Tier 2. We don’t have to go back to Tier 1. It’s easy to go back, it’s hard to go forward under our reopening framework. Over the next two weeks, if our number of cases go above 100, two weeks in a row, we go back to Tier 1.” To view more: 

Department of Health:

Three (3) COVID-19 Deaths Reported 

Three (3) COVID-19 deaths were reported today by DOH. All three involved males between 70-79 years old, who had underlying conditions and were hospitalized on Oʻahu at the time of their death.

16 New Cases Reported on Lāna‘i 

DOH’s Maui District Health Office (MDHO) has confirmed 16 new cases of COVID-19 in residents on the island of Lāna‘i. That brings the total to 20 confirmed cases on Lāna‘i. The new cases include two (2) coworkers who attended a social gathering, and the others are possible household and social contacts. One case had a history of travel to O‘ahu, but there is no clear tie to the other cases. MDHO is actively performing contact tracing and investigation of the cases. DOH is engaging with the Lāna‘i health care community to enhance outreach, testing, and contact tracing.

There will also be drive-through testing on Lāna‘i this Saturday at the Old Dole Administration Building in Lāna‘i City from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., for anyone 15 years or older, by appointment only. To make an appointment, call the Straub Medical Center – Lāna‘i Clinic at 808-565-6423, or the Lāna‘i Community Health Center at 808-565-6919. Testing is also available Monday – Saturday at the clinic and health center.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, Oct. 22, 2020

Island of Diagnosis New Cases Reported since


(including new cases)

O‘ahu 52 12,669
Hawai‘i 29 1,120
Maui 2 396
Kaua‘i 0 60
Moloka‘i 0 19
Lānaʻi 16 20
HI residents diagnosed outside of HI 3 51
Total Cases 102 14,335
Deaths    3 206

Hospitalization count as of 10/21/20 at 2:31 pm: 13-Hawai‘i, 4-Maui, 58-O‘ahu, 0-Kaua‘i 

Department of Public Safety:

12 Saguaro Inmates Test Positive, Negative Broad-based Testing Results at KCCC, MCCC and KCF

PSD has been notified that 12 more Hawai‘i inmates at the Saguaro Correctional Center (Saguaro) in Eloy, Arizona tested positive for COVID-19. The total number of confirmed positive COVID cases is 43. Out of the 43 total positive cases to date, four (4) inmates have recovered. There are 15 inmates with pending test results also in medical isolation and 761 inmates in a precautionary 14-day quarantine. Saguaro nursing staff are doing daily temperature checks and monitoring the inmates for symptoms.

PSD’s Health Care Division is working with DOH, the Hawai‘i National Guard (HING) and community partners, to conduct mass testing for COVID-19 at all correctional facilities statewide. The second batch of test results for 72 Maui Community Correctional Center (MCCC) inmates and 21 Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center inmates all came back negative. Repeat testing of Kulani Correctional Facility staff resulted in 58 negatives. DOH testing of O‘ahu Community Correctional Center inmates is continuous. Of the 121 new inmate test results received today, five (5) were positive and 116 were negative. The two (2) staff results received were both negative. Additionally, 97% of inmates and 86% of staff who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered. To view more information on PSD’s planning and response to COVID-19:

Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority: 

September 2020 Hawaiʻi Hotels Performance Report  

Hawai‘i hotels across the state continued to report substantially lower revenue per available room (RevPAR), average daily rate (ADR), and occupancy last month compared to September 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to HTA, statewide RevPAR in September 2020 decreased to $29 (-85.0%), ADR fell to $149 (-39.5%), and occupancy declined to 19.6-percent (-59.4 percentage points). During September, all passengers arriving from out-of-state, as well as traveling interisland to the counties of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, Maui, and Kalawao (Moloka‘i), were required to abide by a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. To view more:

5,174 Passengers Arrive on Wednesday 

Yesterday, a total of 5,174 people arrived in Hawai‘i from out of state. The bulk of the passengers, or 1,974 people, indicated they came to Hawai‘i for vacation. There were also 871 returning residents. The trans-pacific passenger arrival data is derived from data provided by the Safe Travels digital system.

To view more: 

Joint Information Center:

Email Created to Answer Traveler’s Questions on Safe Travels Hawaiʻi Program 

The state has created an email account to help answer traveler’s questions on the Safe Travels Hawaiʻi program. The email is [email protected], and can be found in the “Helpful Resources” section of the Daily News Digests going forward. A link is also included to an overview of the program and a page with FAQs. To view more:

Helpful Resources 

Safe Travels Hawai‘i Program
Program overview:


Email: [email protected]

Call Center Number: 1-800-GO-HAWAII

COVID-19 Tables, Charts, and Visualizations

Trans-Pacific Passenger Arrivals Statistics 

Kaua‘i County
Kaua‘i COVID-19 webpage:
To report violators: 

Rest, Test, Enjoy! Voluntary visitor post-travel test: 

Resident post-travel test:

Maui County
Maui County travel and COVID-19 information:

To report violators: (808) 244-6400 or [email protected]

Hawai‘i County
Hawai‘i County COVID-19 webpage:

Critical infrastructure and medical travel request: 
To report violators: 808-935-3311

City & County of Honolulu
Honolulu COVID-19 webpage:
Interisland passengers arriving on O‘ahu are not subject to the mandatory quarantine.
To report violators:808-723-3900 or [email protected]

Media Contact 

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center

(808) 636-8194 

[email protected]


Krystal Kawabata

Information Specialist III

Hawai‘i Department of Defense

(808) 441-7000

[email protected]