(BIVN) – Governor Davis Ige held a press conference today on Oʻahu, where he announced the signing of a supplemental emergency proclamation, and the appointment of an incident commander, in response to the COIVD-19 pandemic.
(UPDATED) – “We are starting to see the edge of community spread of the COVID-19 virus here in the islands,” Governor Ige said during the Monday press conference. “We are taking unprecedented actions to protect the vulnerable in our community and ensure that medical resources are available to those who most need them.”
Today, the Hawaiʻi Department of Health confirmed three new cases of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi, identified on O‘ahu and Maui. There are now a total of 10 confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i. Health officials did not state how those new cases were acquired.
When asked if he could confirm that community spread had begun in the state, Governor Ige answered that “we do have a case that we believe is community spread.”
“We have not had that opportunity to talk about that,” the Governor said, adding that such information will be provided to media once confirmed.
From the office of the governor:
Gov. David Y. Ige signed today a supplemental emergency proclamation adding provisions to protect the health and safety of the people of Hawaiʻi as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
“Across the globe and here in Hawaiʻi, we’re seeing disruptions to every aspect of our lives. As more cases are confirmed, events cancelled, and social distancing measures taken, it’s understandable that people are anxious. This supplemental emergency proclamation allows us to take unprecedented actions to protect the most vulnerable members of our community and ensure that medical resources are available to those who most need them,” said Gov. Ige.
Gov. Ige announced that he has appointed Ken Hara, director, Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency, to be the incident commander.
“This move aligns the state’s emergency response to the federal structure, and it brings added capacity and federal resources to help the state,” said Director Hara.
The supplemental proclamation permits the governor to take the following actions:
1.) Suspend administrative procedures and Sunshine Law requirements to allow public meetings to be conducted electronically. All reasonable measures will be taken to ensure public participation that is consistent with recommended social distancing practices.
2.) Waive the one-week waiting period for Unemployment Insurance.
3.) Prevent hoarding of items needed for the public welfare.
Gov. Ige praised healthcare providers for their extraordinary efforts to find and treat COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi.
“Our private healthcare providers are proud to be part of this effort and will continue to work collaboratively with all our partners to serve the people of Hawaiʻi,” said Hilton Raethel, President and CEO, Healthcare Association of Hawaii.
“This is an all-community effort. Each of us has a part to play. I know that when we work together, we can do great things,” said Gov. Ige.
The supplemental emergency proclamation is effective until May 15, 2020.