HAWAII ISLAND – The County of Hawaii has declared a state of emergency due to the dengue fever outbreak on the Big Island.
Today, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi signed the following proclamation:
COUNTY OF HAWAII
Office of the Mayor
WHEREAS, Chapter 127A of the Hawai’i Revised Statutes (HRS) provides for the establishment of County organizations for emergency management and disaster relief with the Mayor having direct responsibility and authority over emergency management within the County; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Chapter 127A, HRS, Chapter 7 of the Hawai‘i County Code, and Section 13-23 of the Hawai‘i County Charter, the Mayor of the County is empowered to declare a state of emergency when an emergency or disaster has occurred or that there is imminent danger or threat of an emergency or disaster in any portion of the County; and
WHEREAS, dengue fever is a virus that is transmitted by infected mosquitoes, and although not endemic to Hawai’i, is intermittently imported to Hawai’i by infected travelers; and
WHEREAS, on October 29, 2015, the State Department of Health reported two confirmed cases of dengue fever originating on Hawai’i Island; and
WHEREAS, as of February 5, 2016 the total number of confirmed cases of dengue fever on Hawai’i Island has increased to 250, with the latest estimated onset of illness occurring on or about February 1, 2016; and
WHEREAS, State and County officials continue to undertake mosquito control measures and to engage in public education and outreach efforts; and
WHEREAS, reducing the mosquito population and protecting people from mosquito bites is the only way to break the cycle of dengue infection and transmission; and
WHEREAS, a state of emergency for Hawai’i County is authorized in order to prevent the continued spread of this outbreak and to eliminate the dengue fever virus from Hawai’i island;
NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to Chapter 127A, HRS, Chapter 7, Hawaii County Code, and Section 13-23 of the Hawai’i County Charter, I, WILLIAM P. KENOI, Mayor of the County of Hawai‘i, do hereby proclaim a state of emergency for Hawai’i County, and pursuant to HRS Section 127A-13(b)(2), suspend the following county law to the extent necessary to effectively control and eliminate the dengue fever virus on Hawai’i Island:
a. Hawai’i County Code Section 20-46(b) insofar as it prohibits the acceptance of tires at County landfills.
I FURTHER DECLARE that this emergency period shall commence immediately and continue thereon for 60 days or until further act by this office.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the County of Hawaii to be affixed. Done this 8th day of February in Hilo, Hawai‘i.