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Exemptions for interisland travel quarantine detailed

Hawaii’s rate of infection is second only to New Jersey

Maui County officials on Friday detailed the upcoming 14-day mandatory interisland travel quarantine, covering where to seek exemptions and how it applies to trips between Neighbor Islands.

Ordered by Gov. David Ige, the quarantine will launch Tuesday and run through Aug. 31. It applies to any travelers arriving in non-Oahu counties, even those traveling among Neighbor Islands and within the islands of Maui County.

The only island without the quarantine mandate is Oahu, where active COVID-19 cases now number close to 1,300, health officials said.

The quarantine announced by the state Thursday is an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to outer islands with triple-digit daily new cases on Oahu. Oahu hit a record 200 new cases in a single day Friday.

“It was necessary to protect our community and our health care system,” Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said about the mandate during his Friday afternoon news conference.

Exemption requests for travel may be made by emailing the county of arrival. For Maui County, email travelexemption@mauicounty.gov for travel to and within the county. Maui County residents seeking exemptions in other counties should visit the county of destination website for information. Those with exemptions and workers deemed essential may bypass the 14-day self-quarantine.

Victorino said Hawaii has now surpassed the 3,000 person case count and the state is second to New Jersey in rate of infection over the last two weeks.

“We are second in the U.S. — that’s not a record I’m proud of at this point,” he said.

County Managing Director Sandy Baz said Maui County “experienced its own bump in cases” but is now reporting less than one case per 100,000.

Baz said Maui’s “bump” in cases was related to travel, including interisland and Mainland, along with community spread. Victorino added that Maui’s recent increase also was attributed to uncontrolled social gatherings, which is why gatherings were reduced to 10 people or fewer.

“We don’t have to talk about drum people; it’s been beaten to death, literally and figuratively,” Victorino said.

He added that funerals and other gatherings contributed to recent cases on Maui.

Maui County, however, will remain in the “Act with Care” phase, county officials said. They emphasized that businesses, beaches and parks will remain open at this time.

Maui Police Department will continue to enforce the quarantine order for trans-Pacific and interisland travelers. To report a suspected violation of the 14-day quarantine, email mpdquarantine@mpd.net or call the department’s nonemergency line at 244-6400.

Oahu is approaching the same rate of spread as California, with 14.45 cases per 100,000 people a day, according to Maui County officials. California has 17.8 cases per 100,000.

On Friday, state health officials reported 200 new cases on Oahu and one on Maui, along with two additional COVID-19-related deaths, which brings Hawaii’s death toll to 31.

One victim was over 60 years old and had been in the hospital. He died Tuesday and had been exposed to a positive household member.

The second man died Wednesday and was in the 40-to-59-year-old age group. His death was reported by the Honolulu Medical Examiner because he died at home, unattended.

His family reported he had symptoms but did not seek medical care.

Both men are said to have had underlying medical conditions, and the health investigations into their deaths continues, a Health Department news release said.

The state’s COVID-19 reported case total is now at 3,115. Maui County’s total is 181. Oahu logged 2,741 cases; Hawaii island, 123 cases; and Kauai, 47 cases. Twenty-three Hawaii residents have been diagnosed outside the state.

* Staff Writer Melissa Tanji contributed to this report. Kehaulani Cerizo can be reached at kcerizo@mauinews.com.

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