Kalawao Last County With No COVID
By Catherine Cluett Pactol
As the rest of the county sees unprecedented rises in cases, Hawaii has the lowest case counts of any state in the U.S. over the last seven days as of Sunday, according to the Center for Disease Control. Kalaupapa — which is its own county of Kalawao — is reportedly the last county in the U.S. with no confirmed COVID-19 cases. The Kalaupapa community — managed by the Dept. of Health and National Park Service — has taken rigorous steps to insure the health and safety of the remaining patient residents living there.
Statewide as of last Friday, Hawaii had an average of 85 cases per day, according to the Dept. of Health. Maui County had the lowest test positivity rate at 0.8 percent, while Honolulu County had 2.6 percent positives of those tested for COVID-19. Molokai hasn’t had any recent positive cases, and Lanai numbers have plateaued in recent days after the island’s community spike reached 106, as of last Friday.
Last Friday, Gov. David Ige rolled out a new pre-travel testing policy that mandates travelers to Hawaii must have their COVID-19 test results in hand prior to departure to the islands in order to avoid a 14-day quarantine.
“We’re taking this added safety precaution now in response to the dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases on the mainland and around the world. The health of our residents and visitors is our
primary concern, particularly with more people traveling to Hawaii over the holidays,” said Gov. Ige.
If a traveler’s test results are not available before boarding their final flight segment, the traveler must quarantine for 14 days or the length of their stay, whichever is shorter. The new policy applies to domestic transpacific flights and international flights departing from locations in which the State of Hawaii has pre-testing programs in place.
Gov. Ige also announced that the pre-travel policy applies to visitors from Canada, with two Canadian airlines resuming service to Hawaii in mid-December.
“Many Canadians love to visit Hawaii during the winter months to escape the cold weather, so the timing for this works well. Hawaii has the most rigorous pre-testing program in the U.S., and we are grateful to Air Canada and WestJet for making it available to their passengers,” said Ige.