I hope that you had a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.
We continue to work to address the various issues that have arisen since the restoration of trans-Pacific travel on October 15. As of late, the most pressing concern has been the notion held by some that travelers are coming to Hawai'i and knowingly choosing to disobey State and county mandates regarding masks, social distancing, and other public health recommendations.
As I have previously shared, there are numerous initiatives under way that are aimed at educating visitors on the different rules that are currently in place and how they vary from island to island. In comments that I have made to the media, I have continued to reiterate that our local populace shares in the responsibility to continue wearing masks, limiting the size of our social gatherings, and practicing good hygiene.
Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard recently echoed my sentiments, noting in a Star-Advertiser article that the majority of COVID-19 violations that have been handed out since October 15 have been to local residents. Public opinion of tourism is in a precarious position, and it was highly encouraging to have Chief Ballard reaffirming that many of the travelers who are coming to Hawai'i are, for the most part, abiding by local mandates.
Media that may be of interest to you
"Hawaii's tangle of testing policies worry some," Travel Weekly, October 25, 2020
"Free COVID-19 testing available in Waikiki and Ko Olina today," October 22, 2020
Free COVID-19 Testing
The City & County of Honolulu has announced that it will be offering FREE COVID-19 testing to the public with priority being given to hotel workers. These test kits were made available through a surplus of test kits from the United States Department of Health and Human Services. At the time of announcement, more than 28,000 test kits were still available.
If you are interested in a test, please visit doineedacovid19test.com to register. There are currently testing locations at both the Waikiki Shell and the Ko Olina Resort Center with other locations possibly being announced in the future.
As we begin to see more and more travelers return to Hawai'i, our frontline workers should take every precaution to protect their health while also taking advantage of every testing opportunity. This is not only for their own personal health, but that of their families, friends, and colleagues.
On Friday, HLTA once again partnered with Aloha Harvest to host a food distribution event for tourism industry workers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic. Using funds generated through our #AlohaLater campaign, we were able to distribute roughly 1,500 food bundles, each containing fresh produce, eggs, milk, protein, and dry goods.
Mahalo to the following people and organizations who helped to make this event a successful one:
Gerdyn Enterprises LLC/Cabebe Brothers LLC
Honolulu Disposal Service
Mahalo also to Senator Kurt Fevella, Augie T., Trish La Chica, Kelly Kitashima and their teams for joining us.
Finally, my deepest mahalo to all of the volunteers who braved the cold and wet weather conditions to lend a helping hand to those in need.
In the final installment of our neighbor island Candidate Spotlight, we will be focusing on the Hawai'i Island candidates whose candidacies have been endorsed by HLTA. As a reminder, you can view our entire list of endorsements by clicking here or by visiting our endorsement page on our website.
House District District 2
Hilo, Keaukaha, Pana'ewa, Waiakea
Stay in the know
Keep up with HLTA through our blog! Let us know what you think in the comment box below each post.