Hawaii may once again push back the Sept. 1 launch of its pre-arrival testing program.
After reporting a single-day record of 355 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, Hawaii Gov. David Ige said during a news conference he is looking at delaying the start of the program again, which would allow out-of-state visitors to avoid the mandatory 14-day quarantine if they get tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arriving in Hawaii.
“If things do not get better we will have no choice but to look at more restrictions. That means we will be looking at a delay of the transpacific pre-travel (COVID-19) testing program.”
Last month, Ige delayed it from Aug. 1 to at least Sept. 1 due to outbreaks on the mainland.
“With the case count increasing the way it has, it would be very difficult to implement and start the pre-travel testing program on Sept. 1,” Ige said during the briefing. “But we have not made that decision. We do want to see another few days of data to see what the impact of the increased restrictions have been on Oahu.”
“I know that going backwards will cause further harm to our economy, but we may have no choice. Before we can fix our economy, we need to fix our health.”Ige said.
The statewide total for coronavirus cases since the pandemic began rose to 4,312. Two more deaths on Thursday brought the total death count since the pandemic to 40.