Hawaii Updates: Drive-Through Screenings Set; Arrivals Drop To Under 1,600; Case Count Stands At 120

Mar 27, 2020

Two other drive-through COVID-19 screening events are scheduled this weekend -- tomorrow at the Waipiʻo Peninsula Soccer Complex and Sunday in the Kakaʻako Waterfront Park parking lot. Those tested must have symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath.

Premier Medical Group Hawaiʻi and the city will again put on the screenings. Their first drive-through screening in Kakaʻako Waterfront Park drew hundreds of vehicles with long waits.

Both screenings will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Those seeking tests will first be screened for symptoms and asked to provide personal information, including contact numbers, so that results can be forwarded to them. 

Dr. Scott Miscovich of Premier Medical said he hopes to run the screenings through April. Results will be used to identify "hot spots" in the effort to contain COVID-19.

More information is available by calling (808) 304-8816 or (808) 367-6020.

On the Big Island, there will be two drive-through screening sites.

In Kona, the screening and testing will be offered by Premier Medical Group and Ali’i Health Center tomorrow from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. 

In Hilo, Premier Medical Group and Bay Clinic, with the support of the county will offer the screening at Ho`olulu Complex on Sunday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. 

For both Big Island testing clinics, no doctor’s order is needed, but individuals will be screened to see if they meet the testing criteria for testing.

Where Hawaii stands

Hawaii's coronavirus case count now stands at 120, according to the state health department's latest update. The number represents an increase of 14 cases from yesterday. Oahu has 87 cases, Maui 16, Kauai 5 and the Big Island 7. 

Three cases are pending results and two residents were diagnosed out of state. 

Seven of the total cases have required hospitalization. There are no locally reported fatalities from COVID-19.

Hawaii arrivals plummet on first day of quarantine order

Hawaii recorded 1,589 passenger arrivals yesterday when the state's 14-day quarantine for both visitors and returning residents took effect, according to the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority. Of the total, 268 are visitors. The numbers reflect a sharp drop in daily arrivals. Last year, at the end of March, more than 30,000 passengers arrived each day. 

State plans for possible release of inmates

Hawaii law enforcement representatives, public defenders and the judiciary plan to meet today to discuss evaluating lower-risk inmates for possible release as the coronavirus crisis raises worry about potential infection in state jails.

The action follows an order from the Hawaii Supreme Court directing the attorney general and county prosecutors to respond to a petition from the Office of Public Defender seeking to have jail sentences suspended or commuted. This would apply to those serving time as a condition of their felony probation or those in jail for misdemeamors or petty misdemeanors.

State Attorney General Clare Connors said in a statement yesterday that temporarily releasing or suspended sentences "could create risks of harm to victims and other persons in the community."  

"All sectors of the criminal justice system should participate in this unprecedented process of re-evaluating the need to incarcerate certain inmates in order to reduce the danger of COVID-19 spreading in our jail system," she said.

See yesterday's updates: Convention Center, Blaisdell, Maui hotels eyed as care facilities; why not more South Korea-type widespread testing?

She said in evaluating inmates for release, those who know the inmates best should ensure that their release won't put others at risk and that the inmates are properly tracked.

"This process also is intended to ensure that any release of inmates does not further tax the limited government resources that are focused on addressing the general spread of COVID-19 in the community," Connors said.

The Department of Public Safety has said no inmates are suspected of having the coronavirus, but adds that the situation could change at any time.

Need help? HPR has put together a list of resources updated daily to help survive the crisis

Over the past two weeks, the department has suspended personal visits and temporarily canceled all work furlough passes, community service work lines and nonessential programs to limit staff and inmates exposure to the virus.

ACLU of Hawaii has called on DPS to develop a "proactive, evidence-based plan" to prevent amd manage any COVID-19 cases in its correctional or detention facilities.

"People in jails and prisons are particularly vulnerable to outbreaks of contagious illnesses--such as COVID-19--because they are being held in close quarters and often in poor health conditions," the group said in a news release.

Any plan should include educating inmates and staff about preventing the illness, stocking hygiene supplies, data collection and treatment, it said.

This story is developing. Please return for updates.

Editor's note: We’d like to hear how you’re coping with the latest developments in dealing with the spread of the coronavirus. You can call our talkback line at 808-792-8217. Or e-mail us at talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.