Mayor Kawakami requests to opt-out of Safe Travels program after dozens of known

COVID-19 cases reach Kaua‘i

On Tuesday, Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami forwarded to Gov. David Ige proposed Mayor’s Emergency Rule 23, which would temporarily pause Kaua‘i’s participation in the state’s Safe Travels pre-travel testing program and require incoming travelers to Kaua‘i to quarantine for the full 14 days regardless of testing.

“We are facing alarming COVID-19 numbers on our island as well as across the nation,” said Mayor Kawakami. “This is not just a tourist problem. Nearly half of our recent travel cases are Kaua‘i residents who returned home. We know that a single, pre-travel test has not stopped the virus from reaching our island and we are saddened to report our first on-island death. We must take action to prevent the further spread of disease here.”

In an attempt to avoid reverting back to a mandatory 14-day quarantine, Mayor Kawakami proposed Rule 21 last Monday, which would have required incoming Kaua‘i travelers to take a post-travel test after 72 hours on island with a shorter quarantine period. However, this second-test proposal has not received approval, further prompting the Mayor to propose Rule 23 to temporarily opt-out of the state’s Safe Travels program.

“Since the launch of the single pre-travel testing program on October 15, we have confirmed 58 new cases and our first on-island death,” said Dr. Janet Berreman, Kaua‘i District Health Officer. “Forty-eight of those cases were travelers—27 visitors and 21 residents. Most of them had a negative pre-travel test, but still came down with COVID here on Kaua‘i. The other 10 cases, in residents who did not travel, are an even greater cause for alarm. Four of these are residents who were in close contact with travelers. The other six are residents for whom we cannot identify any link to a traveler—these are cases of community transmission. We have not seen sustained community transmission in our county since July, so these cases are very concerning. It is clear that the Safe Travels program is not adequately protecting Kaua‘i from an alarming rise in cases.”

Mayor Kawakami added that a temporary opt-out of the Safe Travels program would allow the island to remain in Tier 4 – the least restrictive tier – for as long as possible.

“Opting out of the Safe Travels program would be independent of our tier system, which means we could stay in Tier 4 for a longer period of time,” said Mayor Kawakami. “It makes no logical sense for us to move tiers while still allowing more travelers. We shouldn’t penalize our local people by restricting activities, such as youth sports, when that’s not the current source of infection.”

“I don’t propose to know how to best manage the other counties or the state as a whole. But our small, rural community here on Kaua‘i needs to take pause from an influx of travelers, and once again gain control of this virus as we had for so many months before. I will gladly repeal the rule once we achieve this goal,” added Mayor Kawakami.

If approved, Rule 23 would take effect on December 1, 2020, at which point all incoming travelers, including residents and visitors from the mainland and neighboring counties would be subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine, regardless of testing.

The county’s modified quarantine program would remain in place for critical infrastructure workers, essential medical travel, or other special circumstances. To apply for a modified quarantine, please visit and click on the “modified quarantine request” button at the top of the page.

To view the Kaua‘i COVID-19 tier tracker, post-travel testing information, and general information, visit For more State of Hawai‘i case tracker and information on the Safe Travels program, visit

On Nov. 17, 2020, by interim rule, the chairperson of the Hawai`i Board of Agriculture (board) designated Maui and Hawai`i Island as areas infested by coffee leaf rust (CLR), Hemileia vastatrix. This authorizes the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Plant Quarantine Branch (PQB) to restrict the movement of coffee and other CLR carriers from Maui and Hawai`i Island. The interim rule goes into effect today, Nov. 20, 2020.

CLR is a devastating coffee pathogen and was first discovered in Sri Lanka in 1869 and can cause severe defoliation of coffee plants resulting in premature defoliation and greatly reducing photosynthetic capacity. Depending on CLR prevalence in a given year, both vegetative and berry growth are greatly reduced. There are multiple long-term impacts of CLR, including dieback, resulting in an impact to the following year’s crop, with estimated losses ranging from 30 percent to 80 percent.

The interim rule restricts the movement or transport of coffee plants and parts, including green (unroasted) coffee beans, used coffee bags, and used coffee harvesting, processing or transporting equipment, from a CLR-infested area to an area that is uninfested, except by permit issued by the HDOA. For additional detail about the restrictions, the interim rule may be found at:

A permit may be issued for the transportation of:

  1. coffee beans for roasting, or other non-propagative plant parts, that are shipped to an approved facility located in an uninfested area that is located at least two miles away from a commercial coffee growing area, or are subjected to a treatment approved by the PQB chief;

  2. plants from HDOA certified nurseries, green coffee beans for roasting, or other non-propagative plant parts, that are transshipped through an uninfested area of the State with a final destination outside of the State;

  3. previously used equipment for harvesting, processing or transporting coffee plants or plant parts that has been subjected to treatments and/or mitigation measures approved by the chief;

  4. coffee plants and plant parts for scientific or diagnostic purposes at a PQB approved facility, provided the contents and packing materials used for shipping are subjected to a treatment approved by the PQB chief after the contents are unloaded;

  5. coffee plants, beans for roasting, other non-propagative plant parts, used coffee bags, and previously used coffee harvesting, processing, or transporting equipment, that are shipped between infested areas; and

  6. for limited quantities of coffee plants for propagation from an infested area to a non-infested area, subject to a one-year quarantine in a state-run facility, provided that the board may reduce the quarantine period.

This rule will not affect export (out-of-state) shipments f coffee plants and plant parts, green coffee beans, used coffee bags, or other CLR carriers, provided that they are exported directly from a CLR infested area and are not transshipped through a CLR uninfested area in the State. This interim rule does not affect the movement of roasted coffee.

For a copy of the permit application, go to There is no fee for the permit. If you need assistance or have questions about the permitting or inspection requirements, please call the PQB at 808-832-0566 or email

If you believe you may have a possible CLR infestation, call HDOA’s Plant Pest Control Branch at (808) 973-9525.

For more information on CLR go to the UH-CTAHR webpages at:

Or, the HDOA Field Guide at:

City and County of Honolulu - Serving his community was the core of Breene Harimoto. The list of organizations through which he worked to realize an astonishing amount of accomplishments is extraordinary; though his humility was unmistakable. This ability to work seamlessly in the pursuit of improving our island is but an example of the reasons we proudly announce the renaming of Mānana Community Park to the Breene Harimoto Mānana Community Park in honor of the late State Senator, City Councilmember, Deputy Director, Board Chair and incomparable community leader.

Today, a small ceremony was held at this popular park location to unveil three new signs bearing the name of the Waipahū High School graduate. Joining Breene’s family in this ceremony were Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Councilmember Brandon Elefante, Honolulu Parks and Recreation Director Michele Nekota and park staff.

“Today is but a small token of appreciation we can make in honoring this gentle but committed, dedicated, and diligent civil servant,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “Already his legacy in this very park is cemented through the funds he helped appropriate to build park facilities and assist youth-oriented programs. I am encouraged that his legacy will continue through the work of Councilmember Elefante, who worked with Councilmember Harimoto during his time at the City. Breene built this foundation of unwavering civil service, and I hope future generations will know his name and follow his example of righteous service to one’s community.”

The renaming of this park is in accordance with Honolulu City Council Resolution 20-190, introduced by Councilmember Brandon Elefante. To get a full idea of the many contributions and years of service provided by Breene, we recommend the public to read this resolution.

“This is a great way to honor Senator Hairmoto’s lifetime of tireless service to the community” said Councilmember Brandon Elefante. “Parks are places of joy, places of fun, and places to play for family and community. That was Senator Harimoto’s life’s work---building better families and communities. We were all lucky to be a part of his journey. This beautiful park will sit forever in tribute to his dedication and perseverance in serving us all!”

Located at 1310 Waimano Home Road in Pearl City, the Breene Harimoto Mānana Community Park features a variety of park amenities within its 14-acres, including: playcourts, a skate park, numerous ball fields, and recreation rooms.

If you need an auxiliary aid/service, other accommodations due to a disability, or an interpreter for a language other than English in reference to this announcement, please

call DPR at (808) 768-3003 on weekdays from 7:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. or email

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415 South Beretania St.
Honolulu, HI 96813

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