Recently, the number of COVID-19 cases in Hawaii, especially among the unvaccinated, has spiked from 138 cases per day to a whopping 650 cases per day! According to Hawaii governor David Ige, the reason lies in “Hawaii’s Health-care system, which is being stressed like so many other hospital systems around the world”. Nonetheless, Ige has responded to the the increasing number of COVID cases-and the response is quite reminiscent of 2020.
“I have asked that all non-essential travel for residents and visitors to Hawaii be delayed or curtailed through the end of October,” says Ige. This includes vacations and family reunions, which were also closed last year. I’ve been on calls with all the airlines and I’ve talked with the hotel industry to support this requirement. I think it’s important that we reduce the number of visitors coming here to the islands,” continues Ige.
Ige then offers vaccine mandates to explore the beaches and tropical areas of Hawaii, similar to New York City. He further offers an app or website for citizens to confirm their vaccination status. However, Hawaii has been quite successful on getting its people vaccinated, with other 62% of their population fully vaccinated, the seventh best in the United States.
As it stands, Hawaii bans outdoor gatherings with over 25 people and indoor gatherings with over 10. Masks are still required and restaurants can only operate at half-capacity. However, the increase in COVID cases comes from the age difference as, according to reporter Matt Novak, “just over half of people age 12-17 are vaccinated, while kids under 12 aren’t eligible to be vaccinated”.
Citizens planning to vacation to Hawaii will need to reschedule, whether vaccinated or not. Still, it is important to play a role in living in a post-pandemic world by getting vaccinated and continuing to wear our mask, especially for protection against the Delta variant. Hawaii is waiting for us, so let’s get there together.