Hawaii Updates: ; 1 New Case; Pine Objects To Military's Quarantine Exemption

May 31, 2020

Updated: 5/31/2020, 12:20 p.m.

Where we stand

Hawaii recorded one new coronavirus case today, this one on Maui.

The state health department now reports the number of recorded cases at 652; deaths remain at 17. The case count for Oahu is at 421, Maui County at 120, Hawaii Island at 81 and Kauai at 20. There are 10 cases diagnosed out of state. Some 608 people have been released from isolation.

City Council member objects to military's 'blanket exemption' from quarantine

An exemption from the 14-day quarantine granted to military and their family members regardless of where they are coming from is "extremely concerning," City Council member Kymberly Pine told the head of the state's COVID-19 response.

In a letter to Gen. Ken Hara, adjutant general of the state Department of Defense and director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, Pine said she objected to the DOD's exemption granted May 29 to all military arriving in the islands for official business. 

She also took exception to military family members granted an exemption from quarantine when arriving in the islands as part of a permanent change of station. She said for the state to ask family members to abide by the 14-day quarantine is "insufficient."

"I ask you to reconsider your blanket order and instead, institute exemptions only following required COVID testing, only under strict observation and guidance and for special cases only," Pine said.

"As a military spouse and an official that represents a large military population, I can attest that many were able to still do their jobs while quarantined," she added.

The communications arm of the state during the COVID-19 emergency, the Joint Information Center, did not respond yesterday to whether Hara had replied to the council member.

Airport arrivals up again over 1,000

Arrivals in the islands continue to edge up, with the total on Saturday reaching 1,003 despite a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

Among them were 345 visitors, 270 returning residents, 107 crew members, 103 military, 72 who say they plan to relocate to the island, 71 travelers in transit, and 35 exempted from quarantine by the state.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Editor's note: We’d like to hear how you’re coping with the latest COVID-19 developments and the state's phased reopening. You can call our talkback line at 808-792-8217. Or e-mail us at talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.