Quarantine Exemption for Medical Travel

Wednesday, October 21st, 2020

County of Maui News Release

Mayor Michael Victorino announced that Maui County residents traveling for medical purposes will be exempt from quarantine and will not need to take a pre-departure test for COVID-19.

“We know many of our residents in Maui County need to travel briefly to Oahu for medical purposes or to undergo medical procedures or treatment that’s not available here at home,” Mayor Victorino said. “This exemption allows for same day or overnight travel for patients get their needed treatment. Hopefully, it will reduce the amount of anxiety they experience in an already stressful situation.”

This exemption is available only to those not subject to any other quarantine.…

Understanding New Travel Requirements

Wednesday, October 21st, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Now that many travel rules have recently changed, are you looking to finally leave Molokai and confused about where you can and can’t fly, if you need a test and whether you have to still quarantine? We’ll break down the new rules for you here.

Travel to Maui or Lanai: If you’re traveling within Maui County without a stopover in any other county, you don’t need to take a COVID-19 test or quarantine. You just need to fill out the state’s Safe Travels Health Screening to get a QR code for quicker airport screening.

Travel to Oahu or another county: You don’t need to test prior to departure, or quarantine when you land on Oahu, but to return home to Molokai, you need to either show a negative test result within the past 72 hours, or follow the 14-day quarantine requirement.…

Mokulele to Provide Wheelchair Access

Wednesday, October 21st, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

When Makani Kai Air began flying into Kalaupapa in 2011, owner Richard Schuman identified the need for a simple, light and easy to operate wheelchair lift to assist patient passengers onto the airline’s small Cessna aircraft. It didn’t exist. So he designed and built one.

Now, with wheelchair accessible options dwindling for Molokai air passengers, the “Schuman lift” will be used by Mokulele Airlines on topside Molokai, Honolulu, Kahului and Lanai.

Mokulele’s policy previously stated it could not accommodate passengers needing wheelchairs due to logistical challenges with its small aircraft. But when ‘Ohana by Hawaiian made an announcement two weeks ago that the company will temporarily halt service starting Nov.…

‘Ohana by Hawaiian to Suspend Service

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

‘Ohana by Hawaiian to Suspend Service

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

‘Ohana by Hawaiian, one of the two passenger air carriers serving Molokai, announced last Friday it will temporarily stop service beginning Nov. 1 due to low travel demand from COVID-19. Flights between Honolulu, Molokai and Lanai will be affected.

‘Ohana’s 48-seat ATR-42 turboprop aircraft represent the only planes currently serving Molokai that accommodate passengers boarding in a wheelchair and those weighing more than 350 pounds. Along with concerns that its suspension of service will leave those who are wheelchair bound without travel options, ‘Ohana’s termination would also leave its Molokai employees, as well as local TSA agents, jobless.…

No New Cases Last Week

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Molokai logged no new COVID-19 cases last week, as statewide, the total cases as of last Friday reached 13,300 and COVID-19-related deaths in Hawaii totaled 166 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Starting this week on Oct. 15, the state will allow a pre-testing program for residents and visitors entering Hawaii that will allow travelers to bypass the 14-day quarantine if they show a negative COVID test within 72 hours of travel. Mayor Michael Victorino requested for an additional layer of safety for Maui County by also requiring a post-arrival test, but that request was denied by Gov.…

Molokai Mechanics Inspire Electric Vehicle Donation

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

Molokai Mechanics Inspire Electric Vehicle Donation

Hawaiian Electric News Release

Hawaiian Electric recently presented a donation of two 2012 Nissan Leaf electric vehicles (EV) to the University of Hawaii Maui College’s (UHMC) Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Educational Program to provide mechanics hands-on experience in maintaining and repairing EVs.

The new program addresses a need that came up during discussions Hawaiian Electric conducted with the Molokai community.

“There was interest in EVs, but residents pointed out if they invested in the vehicles there were no on-island EV technicians who could provide servicing and repairs,” said Gregg Kresge, Hawaiian Electric’s electrification of transportation project delivery manager. “In further discussions with the vehicle mechanics on Molokai, all were enthusiastic about participating in EV training if it was available.…

One New Molokai Case Last Week

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

One New Molokai Case Last Week

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Molokai logged one new COVID-19 case last Wednesday, Sept. 23, bringing the island’s total case count to 17.

Despite requests to break down the island’s total and active cases, the Dept. of Health has not yet begun providing that information so it remains unclear how many of Molokai’s cases are active.

Last week, Gov. David Ige signed a proclamation extending the COVID-19 emergency period through Oct. 31, leaving in place the 14-day mandatory quarantine requirement for both out of state and interisland travelers. However, beginning Oct. 15, a pre-travel testing option will allow out of state travelers an alternative to the mandatory 14-day quarantine by providing a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to travel to Hawaii.…

Molokai Up 3 New Cases Last Week

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

After a surge of cases the previous week, Molokai had three new COVID-19 positives last week — two logged on Monday, Sept. 14 and one on Friday, bringing the island’s total to 16 since the pandemic began.

Requests have been made to the Dept. of Health to separate Molokai’s case count by total cases versus active cases but that breakdown is not yet available as of press deadline Sunday. Rep. Lynn DeCoite said the DOH told her “they are working on that” and should have it updated this week.

DeCoite said to her knowledge, none of the recent Molokai cases have required hospitalization.…

New Online Travel Application Mandatory

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

State of Hawaii News Release

A new online Safe Travels application will be mandatory for all travelers on Sept. 1, the State of Hawaii announced. This new digital application, which collects the required health and travel information, is critical to protecting the health of our residents and visitors alike. Safe Travels is one part of a multi-layered screening process which includes arrival temperature checks, and secondary screening for those with symptoms or temperatures of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The application can be found at

Safe Travels digitizes and simplifies the current paper-based process. Currently, there are two different types of forms – one each for interisland and transpacific – for travel to and within Hawaii.…

Young Brothers Granted 46% Rate Hike

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

In the latest in a saga of Young Brothers barge troubles, the company was granted a 46 percent rate increase, with conditions. The increase, approved last week by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC), will be effective Sept. 1. YB must fulfill several mandates as part of the rate hike, which has been granted on a emergency basis for 12 months.

“We understand that Young Brothers is the only carrier required to serve all islands and discontinuation of service would discontinue all service to Molokai and Lanai,” said Molokai Councilmember Keani Rawlins-Fernandez in an informal virtual community meeting she held to dis-cuss the rate increase last Thursday.…