Continued high rates of COVID-19 infections in Hawaii have forced Gov. David Ige to extend emergency orders requiring masks and regulating travel to the islands.
According to an article in USA Today, the governor said he was concerned that the seven-day average of new daily cases continues to exceed 300. He noted that while that’s down from late August when the figure approached 900, it’s still higher than last year’s peak.
So the regulations and requirements will stay in effect for at least 60 days.
The rules mandate masks in indoor public spaces. To avoid 10 days of quarantine upon arriving in the islands, travelers must show proof of vaccination or a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their flight to Hawaii.
Ige is worried that Hawaii’s isolation means COVID patients don’t have a lot of options in terms of finding a hospital for care. The restrictions were extended in large part to make sure hospitals have enough beds and staff to care for the sick.
Hawaii had been under pressure to increase COVID testing for travelers coming to the islands. The state was one of the first to impose travel restrictions and, if not the first, certainly the state with the strictest requirements to enter.