Governor Moves Forward with Reopening Hawaii Public Schools
Hawaii Daily COVID-19 update of coronavirus reports and statistics from government departments as of Monday, July 20, 2020 in the Aloha State.
Office of the Governor:
Reopening of Hawai‘i Public Schools Moves Forward
Gov. Ige was joined at an afternoon news briefing by DOE Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto, Board of Education (BOE) Chairperson Catherine Payne, and State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park to confirm the reopening of schools on Tuesday, August 4. Teachers return on Wednesday, July 29.
The governor cited the state’s decision to push back the restart of trans-Pacific travel to Sept. 1, as one motivation to continuing with DOE’s reopening date. “We do not want to open schools and welcome more visitors simultaneously. A phased approach will help ensure a safe return for students and minimize other factors that could lead to the spread of COVID-19,” Gov. Ige said.
The governor said, just as we all have responsibility for protecting one another’s health and safety the community must share responsibility for the success of our schools. He outlined this commitment:
- We must all be committed to school success – every parent, every community member ·
- Parents must keep their children home if they’re sick
- Employers must work with employees who have sick children or whose children are participating in distance learning.
- We’re doing new things. We know we will learn and plans may change. We still have to keep working to open our schools.
The DOE has worked closely with the Dept. of Health to plan for the safe re-opening of classrooms (more on school safe practices and protocols below). The briefing also highlighted the importance of not only physical health, but mental health as well.
“The importance of our student’s mental health cannot be lost in this conversation,” said BOE Chairperson Payne. She explained that DOE’s distance learning surveys made it clear that parents have had great concern about their children’s emotional well being during the extended school closures.
For more information about DOE’s Return to Learn plan: http://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/ConnectWithUs/MediaRoom/PressReleases/Pages/school-year-2020-21.aspx
Governor to Participate in Facebook Live with HI-EMA Administrator
Gov. David Ige will once again be participating in a Facebook live on Tuesday, this time joined by Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency Administrator Luke Meyers. The governor and his guest will discuss hurricane preparedness as we deal with this pandemic, starting at 2 p.m. They’ll also be answering questions that people can submit through the comment section. The Facebook live is part of a “community connection” feature the governor started to keep residents updated with the State’s efforts and response to COVID-19.
To watch the live: https://www.facebook.com/GovernorDavidIge/
Department of Health:
60 New Cases of COVID-19 Reported Over the Weekend
With 12 new coronavirus cases being reported by DOH, as of noon today, 20 on Saturday, and 28 on Sunday, Hawai‘i now has a total of 1,393 cases. All but five (5) of the weekend cases are on O‘ahu and the other five (5) are reported from Hawai‘i Island. After reporting the 23rd death from COVID-19, mid-day on Friday, DOH reported the 24th death late on Friday, as an elderly
O‘ahu woman who had underlying health conditions. Full news release:
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, July 20, 2020
|Island of Diagnosis||New Cases||Reported since
(including new cases)
|Total in hospitals|
|Residents Diagnosed outside HI||0||22|
Laboratory* Testing Data
There were 3,788 additional COVID-19 tests reported via electronic laboratory reporting, between noon on Friday and noon today.
|Total Number of Individuals Tested
by Clinical and State Laboratories
*Electronic Laboratory Reporting **15 test results were inconclusive
For more tables, charts and visualizations visit the DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division: https://health.hawaii.gov/coronavirusdisease2019/what-you-should-know/current-situation-in-hawaii
Keeping Students Safe in the Classroom
The collaborative planning process used by DOH and DOE, follows both DOH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations on ohana bubbles, masking, and distancing variations based on age.
In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19, health experts have advised education leaders to use a symptom screening checklist for staff and students. That guidance is included in DOE’s Return to Learn Health and Safety Handbook:
- Feverish or unusually warm (has flushed cheeks)
- Sore throat
- Shortnesss of breath/difficulty breathing
- Headache/stomach acne/nausea
- Muscle pain/unusual fatigue
- New loss of taste or smell
“The Department of Health has been working closely with the DOE on ensuring the safe reopening of schools,” said Health Director Bruce Anderson. “We will continue to work with the DOE in assisting them to ensure their staff are fully informed, response plans are in place, and safe practices and reporting protocols are ready prior to the opening of schools.”
State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said, “The planning process has followed CDC recommendations and DOH guidance on ohana bubbles, masking, and distancing variations by age. These measures will not completely eliminate possible cases, but they will reduce the risk to students and control the spread of illness in schools.”
Department of the Attorney General:
Canadian Woman Arrested for Quarantine Violation
This morning Special Agents from the AG’s Investigative Division arrested 46-year-old Ming Zhu Mou of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The manager of the residence she’d been in, since arriving to Honolulu on July 12, reported that Mou was told she needed to be in 14-day quarantine. The manager said she warned Mou repeatedly and took photos of her leaving her room. The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority informed the special agents and they arrested Mou today. She was booked and is currently in jail under a $2,000 bond. The Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles was notified of her arrest. This is the 23rd quarantine violation arrest made by AG’s Special Agents on O‘ahu.
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center:
COVID Chronicles – Two Travelers Detail Quarantine Experiences
The day after Gov. David Ige extended the mandatory 14-day travel quarantine until Sept. 1, 2020, two people who recently completed their quarantines described their experiences in detail. Both Cari Pang Chen and Kevin Barnard are from California, and while it is not required yet, both of them and Barnard’s brother got COVID-19 tests before flying from the mainland to Hawai‘i.
Pang Chen spent quarantine in a hotel with her 12-year-old middle-schooler. The family elected to have Cari’s husband and son stay home, to better accommodate their own work and school schedules. She said that was a difficult decision, but they’d hoped to have the entire family together in Hawai‘i after August 1st. That plan was scuttled by the delayed introduction of the pre-travel testing program until Sept. 1.
Both Pang Chen and Barnard have strong words for those who have violated the State’s quarantine rules or are contemplating doing so. Pang Chen commented, “It’s disappointing to see the people who are not following quarantine and end up getting arrested. Typically, these folks have generally been obvious in their efforts. The system greatly relies on honesty and appreciation for quarantine’s importance in keeping everyone safe and healthy.”
Barnard said, “They’re not helping the situation. Particularly on the Big Island, the rules are really important to ensure we’re minimizing coronavirus cases because the hospital bandwidth on the island is not big enough to handle cases…that’s when it really gets dangerous.” Barnard also encourages young people, in his age group, to listen to the science and to medical experts. He added, “I feel like people my age, generally, just want to enjoy themselves and selectively ignore things that allow them to enjoy themselves. But even if you don’t see it firsthand, even if you don’t know someone who has coronavirus, it’s very real and very dangerous. So, it’s important to do preventative measures.” Read the entire news release here: https://governor.hawaii.gov/newsroom/latest-news/hawaii-covid-19-joint-information-center-news-release-quarantine-chronicles-july-18-2020/
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:
2,209 Passengers Arrive on Sunday
Yesterday, a total of 2,209 people arrived in Hawai‘i including 472 visitors and 826 returning residents. There was a total of 26 arriving flights. This table shows the number of people who arrived by air from out of state yesterday but does not show interisland travel.
AIRPORT ARRIVALS FOR SUNDAY, JULY 19, 2020
|Relocate to Hawai‘i||3||3||95||101|
Hawai‘i State Judiciary:
National Guard Assisting with Temperature Checks at State Courthouses
If you see a Humvee parked outside one of the state courthouses, don’t be alarmed. It just means that the Hawai‘i National Guard is onsite supporting the Judiciary’s efforts to enhance courthouse safety by doing contactless temperature checks and basic health screenings for anyone entering the courthouse. Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald said, “We are extremely grateful to Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara, who is Incident Commander of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the Hawai‘i Army National Guard for responding to our request for assistance. This added capability augments our existing protective measures such as required face coverings, social distancing, and frequent cleaning.”
Uniformed, unarmed members of the Air Guard and Army Guard will be stationed outside courthouse entries. Anyone who has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher or isn’t able to pass the health screening questions, will not be permitted to enter. Court users who are denied entry will be asked to call the designated offices to discuss their options. Given these added precautionary measures, please plan to arrive extra early to give yourself enough time to go through the screening process. Chief Justice Recktenwald also added, “We’ll be resuming jury trials in September, so being able to add temperature checks to our safety precaution capabilities should promote greater confidence in our ability to keep people safe as services expand.” To view a full list of which courthouses will be affected: