US Covid cases are at a weekly average of over 120k per day and more than a thousand average COVID deaths each week. So the US does not appear to be in any kind of controlled phase of COVID.
And as of today, neither is Hawaii. While the CDC just said that the US “7-day moving average of daily new cases (118,515) increased 37.3% compared with the previous 7-day moving average,” Hawaii cases have just jumped after having dropped to under 100 per day, indicating a big change.
While Hawaii has been doing relatively well, today there were 282 reported new COVID cases statewide. That is about triple what we were seeing just a few weeks ago. Yesterday, there were 214 new cases. The Hawaii Department of Health said there had already been a 121% increase just since Thanksgiving.
So what does that mean for Hawaii-bound visitors?
Experts are saying there is a need to remain vigilant in any further lifting of restrictions, lest they not be promptly reinstated.
Hawaii remains in a challenging position in terms of its fragile healthcare system, due to our physical isolation, small population, and other factors.
It remains unclear as to whether Hawaii will choose to implement any additional Covid restrictions on its own right now, or will await more data and national guidance. In the meantime, as you know, each county is free to maintain its own Covid restrictions. On Maui and Oahu, for example, proof of vaccination or recent testing is required for indoor restaurant dining.
Any changes to Safe Travels are definitely on hold at this time: Vaccination, testing.
Vaccination or testing exemptions, to avoid quarantine, will remain in effect, indefinitely. Safe Travels is Hawaii’s website portal for proof of these, and that too is to remain in place for the foreseeable future.
Hawaii mask mandate continues, as California adds theirs.
The Hawaii indoor mask mandate indoors will also stay put. Governor Ige said recently, “I think it’s the one thing we will continue to have in place.” Hawaii has been one of just a handful of states that have retained masks for indoor settings for both vaccinated and unvaccinated. But that too is changing
Governor Ige said that there are no longer any metrics upon which the state can rely for any further changes to COVID rules. At one point he had said that at 70% fully vaccinated (which has been achieved), the state would eliminate Safe Travels.
As of today, in California, indoor masks are again required due to climbing Covid cases and concerns about the new omicron coronavirus variant. California’s mandate is set to continue through January 15 at this point.