Revised 7/21. There is a 14-day quarantine in effect for all the islands through August 31. And until that’s lifted, it’s not the best time to take a Hawaii vacation. From what we are seeing on the ground, however, we wonder how well it is being adhered to and/or supervised.
Things changed once inter-island flights expanded.
It seems clear to us that problems arose when inter-island flights began operating without quarantine effective mid-June.
Investigator Mel Rapozo of the Kauai County Prosecutor’s Office said yesterday that he too believes some visitors are evading rules via inter-island flights. He said, “The screening is not consistent. It’s not being thorough enough and a lot of these people who are coming through with a connecting boarding pass… It’s a shame how many people are doing that and I think a very small percentage of them are getting arrested… I’m just having a hard time believing that all these people fulfilled 14 days quarantine. ” he added.
We feel the same way. Within the past two weeks, we have seen well over 100 rental cars on Kauai. That’s a huge and visible increase compared with almost none a few months ago. Yesterday alone the state saw an increase of 500 arrivals in one day.
Beat of Hawaii has heard from many sources that there is too little supervision of the 14-day quarantine at this time. One friend said that during a July stay, they received 1 call during their stay, and no in-person visits. The call was to their cell phone and they could have been anywhere when answering. A police officer we checked with indicated the same situation and said they were not capable of enforcing the quarantine. We have had multiple reports that there was far more checking early in the crisis.
The police have taken some action to date – Not all violations were visitors either.
Here on Kauai, police have arrested 46 people so far for violations of the 14-day rules. Those convicted are subject to up to one year in jail and/or $5,000 in fines. Some examples are below:
Two men were arrested last week on Kauai for violation of the state’s 14-day order. On July 14, John Shiffler, age 51 of Salt Lake City was arrested at Lihue Airport for failure to abide by the rule requiring having an appropriate location for the 14-days. He flew to Kauai on the Delta Airlines flight from Los Angeles. Visitors are not permitted to leave the premises for any reason other than a medical emergency or to return to the airport. Everything must be delivered. We aren’t even sure how that is possible here on Kauai.
A second man, Andrew Denny, from Kauai, was arrested the next day. Reports indicate he spent a month on the US mainland before returning on July 4. It had been reported to the police department that he had been seen at multiple locations on the island.
Both individuals were brought to the police department detention center and were held on $1,o00 bail.
A candidate for Kauai County Council violates closed-park area rules (information updated 7/21).
While not quarantine related, Dr. Addison Bulosan, a local chiropractor and former audio engineer for B.B. King and Kanye West, was, according to the local Kauai newspaper, cited for violation of orders and entered a revised pleas of no contest. This happened during the time that Kauai residents were asked to stay-at-home unless going out for essential errands (food, medical, etc.). Afterward, he was fined and is serving a six-month deferral.
We spoke with the Hawaii 5th Circuit Court today to obtain clarification. We were advised that the amended complaint states Addison “failed to observe and abide by officially posted signs designating closed areas, or visiting hours at Wailua Falls, thereby committing the offense of closing of areas in violation of the Hawaii Administrative Rules.”
More issues with returning residents than with visitors.
Furthermore, Hawaii’s health director said Friday, “We’ve had more residents returning positive than non-residents. Fifty-one residents have come to Hawaii, and been diagnosed COVID-positive and 13 non-residents have been positive.”
Local Oahu resident and former news anchor, Angela Keen, said: “Back in March, we had maybe one or two quarantine breaker reports a week, and today, today it’s overwhelming…” Keen is is the Administrator of Hawaii Quarantine Kapu Breakers.
Saturday’s statewide airline arrivals included 699 returning residents and 594 visitors.
Photo: On the road to Poilhale Beach with Beat of Hawaii.
Editorial Update – Yesterday’s post gave the impression that Dr. Bulosan violated quarantine which is not the case. As corrected above, the violation was visiting a closed park during the stay-at-home period. We regret the error which was the result of incorrect reporting in The Garden Island newspaper.