Hawaii COVID-19 Daily News Digest May 18, 2020

Governor’s Office:

Hawai‘i Moves into “Acting with Care” Phase

Governor David Ige announced at a news briefing this afternoon that the state is now transitioning from the “Safer at Home” phase to the “Acting with Care” phase that celebrates Hawai‘i’s Kama‘aina economy. He said, “In this phase we start to reconnect Hawai‘i’s local activities by gradually reopening medium-risk businesses and activities; followed by high-risk businesses and activities. The move from the “Stabilization” phase (which included Stay-at-Home) to “Safer at Home” was made possible by the flattening of the COVID-19 infection curve due to good social-distancing practices, and other measures taken by the community to help protect our most vulnerable populations from coronavirus. Details of the change from “Safer at Home” to “Acting with Care” is outlined in the governor’s 8th Supplementary Proclamation, which he signed today. It does not lift the mandatory 14-day traveler quarantine order for domestic or interisland flights. “Acting with Care,” Governor Ige said, “Means exactly that. With more and more businesses reopening throughout the state, it is up to all of us…to make sure we take care to keep each other safe. So when you go outside that includes physical distancing, good hygiene, and following all safe practices that are being put in place.”

Phase Three is Long-Term Recovery – Phase Four is Resilience

Phase Three, known as “Long-term Recovery,” according to Governor Ige, is where Hawai‘i’s economy is renewed and rebuilt through planning and policy discussions which will incorporate transitional workforce modernization opportunities, support economic diversification initiatives, target the development of emerging industries, andadvance long-term resiliency. At the recovery impact level, the governor says the focus will be on reopening highest-risk businesses and activities, while remaining cautious and adjusting safe practices as needed. He commented, “We can expect this phase to take much longer, since this is when we will be reshaping Hawai‘i’s economy.” The fourth and final phase is “Resilency,” and Governor Ige says this is Hawai‘i’s intended outcome. “Together, we will emerge stronger and more resilient as a result of learning from and overcoming this challenge,” said Governor Ige. Under the impact level strategy, counties can chose to relax stricter local orders at their own pace in coordination with the Governor’s Office. A 14-day-long observation period, between decision points, will allow time to assess conditions before moving to the next impact level. If infections spike and threaten to overwhelm systems, the state has the ability to reinforce capacity to effectively manage a surge in cases. As a safeguard, the governor explained, “We can consider the option of moving back.”

Reopening Strategy Rooted in Science, Data, and Best Practices

Hawai‘i’s reopening strategy for businesses and operations is predicated on expert input from prominent international and national health organizations. Governor Ige said he is committed to making sound decisions based on data, science and best practices from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Johns Hopkins University Public Health Principles.

The Future?

All of the guidance suggests that Hawai‘i continues to act with care by maintaining physical distancing and safe practices across all phases to protect the health and safety of people. State health experts agree that one or more of these outcomes will occur while we learn to live safely with COVID-19.

  • One possibility is that treatments and containment methods increase survivability and decrease pressure on Hawai‘i’s hospitals and health care providers.
  • The second possibility is that our population develops a natural immunity to COVID-19, referred to as “herd immunity.”
  • And a third, longer-term possibility, is that a vaccine is developed, and at least 60% our population is immunized.

Governor Ige said, “We can feel confident reopening knowing that Hawaii’s health care and public health systems are ready, and continue to increase testing, contact tracing, surveillance, and quarantine capacity.”

Links for More Information and Detail

Emergency proc: https://governor.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/2005088-ATG_Eighth-Supplementary-Proclamation-for-COVID-19-distribution-signed.pdf

PPT: https://governor.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Gov_Reopening-Presentation-Slide-Deck_18-May-2020.pdf

Memo: https://governor.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Gov_Reopening-Memo_18-May-2020.pdf


Department of Health:

No New Cases of COVID-19 Reported Today with Few Over the Weekend

There were three (3) additional cases of COVID-19 reported by the DOH over the weekend, with two (2) on Saturday and one (1) on Sunday. No new cases are reported today. Additionally, one Hawai‘i island resident, with a suspected false positive test, was re-tested by the State Laboratory, which confirmed the coronavirus diagnosis as negative. This case was removed from the total count on Saturday. As of today, there have been 640 cases of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i, since reporting began on Feb. 28, 2020.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, May 18, 2020

Island of Diagnosis New Cases Reported since


(including new cases)

Total Released from Isolation*
O‘ahu 0 415 383
Hawai‘i 0 77 75
Maui 0 115 94
Kaua‘i 0 21 20
Moloka‘i 0 2 2
Lana‘i 0 0 0
Residents Diagnosed outside HI 0 10  
Unknown 0 0  
Total** 0 640  
Total released from isolation     574
Deaths 0 17  

* Includes cases that meet isolation release criteria. Cases that have died and one case that left the jurisdiction have been removed from these counts.

Laboratory* Testing Data

Since Friday, there were 1,516 additional COVID-19 tests reported via electronic laboratory reporting.

Total Number of Individuals Tested by Clinical and State Laboratories Positive Negative
40,511** 638 39,831

*Electronic Laboratory Reporting  **42 test results were inconclusive

DOH Issues Cease and Desist Order to Malama Meals

The DOH Food Safety Branch has issued a Cease and Desist Order to Ahmad Ramadan dba Malama Meals located at 91-100 Farrington Highway. The operation was preparing and providing meals on O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, and Moloka‘i. “The operation had multiple food safety issues as it prepared and packaged hot meals on O‘ahu and shipped them to the neighbor islands without proper temperature controls,” said Peter Oshiro, chief of the DOH Food Safety Branch. “Without proper controls, the risk of an outbreak of food illness is high and could have a devastating impact especially on those who are elderly and have underlying conditions.” In response to a complaint, the DOH conducted an inspection of the food operation on May 15, 2020 and observed numerous violations indicating the operator did not have active managerial control over food being produced.  For more information on the department’s restaurant placarding program go to https://health.hawaii.gov/san/.

To search and view food safety inspection reports of Hawai‘i food establishments and businesses go to https://hi.healthinspections.us/hawaii/

DOH Producing New Visual Charts

The Department of Health is producing more user-friendly, interactive testing charts on its COVID-19 website. See all charts at: https://health.hawaii.gov/coronavirusdisease2019/what-you-should-know/current-situation-in-hawaii/#labtests

COVID-19 Testing in Hawaii updated May 18, 2020


Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:

1,073 Passengers Arrive on Sunday

Yesterday, 1,073 people arrived in Hawai‘i including 272 visitors and 400 returning residents. There was a total of 20 arriving flights. This table shows the number of people who arrived by air from out of state yesterday. The next table details interisland travel. It is data collected from the Department of Transportation’s new Mandatory Travel Declaration Form.


Crew 11 8 139   158
Exempt     51   51
Military     57   57
Relocate to Hawai‘i 6 4 75   85
Returning Resident 34 21 345   400
Transit     50   50
Visitor 17 12 243   272
GRAND TOTAL 68 45 960 0 1,073
Flights 5 2 13 0 20



Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism


Arriving Airport

Departing Airport HNL KOA ITO OGG LIH MMK LNY MUE Total


Honolulu (HNL) 0 138 130 173 128 29 4 0 602
Kona (KOA) 151 0 0 15 0 0 0 0 166
Hilo (ITO) 167 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 167
Kahului (OGG)   272 11 0 0 0 16 3 2 244
Līhuʻe (LIH) 98 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 98
Molokaʻi (MMK) 36 0 0 8 0 0 0 0 44
Waimea (MUE) 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 3
Total Arriving 724 149 130 199 128 45 7 2 1,384



Department of Land and Natural Resources

Kaua‘i Updates Temporary Hunting Days For COVID-19 Response

Special Use Permits will not include Units A, B and L (including the Game Management Area). Permits will be available for existing hunting areas on Natural Area Reserves, Forest Reserves and State Parks. All Tags and/or annual permits will still be required, and no other existing hunting rules will change. This temporary increase in open hunting days will last to November 15, 2020 (in some units it will end earlier depending on any existing rules) and each permit is only good for 1 month. “Some hunters have asked us to increase open hunting days to help them feed our community during the COVID-19 global pandemic,” said Sheri S. Mann, Kaua‘i Branch Manager for the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW). “With so many people out of work, free food drives happening and growing concerns about national meat shortages, many are interested in hunting during the middle of the week.”

Read more here: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/blog/2020/05/17/nr20-066/

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PDF: COVID-19 Daily News Digest May 18, 2020

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