(BIVN) – On Thursday, the Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives circulated a strongly worded letter to Governor David Ige, signed by Democratic House Speaker Scott Saiki, urging immediate and decisive action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On a day when the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases jumped from 16 to 26, and a fellow state lawmaker in the opposite chamber – State Senator Clarence K. Nishihara – became the first elected official in Hawaiʻi to test positive for the virus, the House Speaker called for a complete shutdown of the entire state to slow the spread of the illness.
In his letter, written “on behalf of the House of Representatives and the people of Hawaii,” Saiki called for everyone in Hawaiʻi to shelter-in-place for the next two weeks, quarantine all travelers arriving from outside Hawaiʻi for 15 days, and prohibit all nonessential inter-island and out-of-state travel.
Here is the full letter to the governor:
Honorable David Ige
Re: Request for Immediate Action
Dear Governor Ige:
The handling of this COVID-19 pandemic has been utterly chaotic and there is mass confusion among the public. The number of positive test results is exponentially increasing on a daily basis. To protect people and the long-term stability of our economy, I implore you to immediately order the shut-down and sheltering-in-place of all people in the State of Hawaii.
On behalf of the House of Representatives and the people of Hawaii, I am calling on you, as Governor of the State of Hawaii, to take the following immediate actions:
– Institute an immediate statewide shut down for the next 15 days.
– Order all people in Hawaii to shelter-in-place for the next 15 days and direct the Joint Incident Center under the command of Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Director / Adjutant General Kenneth Hara to immediately use his authority under the March 16, 2020, Emergency Supplementary Proclamation to take all necessary steps to ensure that the supply chain for basic necessities — such as food, medicine, water, communications, gasoline, cargo and public safety — is secure.
– Order HI-EMA Director/Adjutant General Hara to secure and requisition any needed hospital and medical supplies that are necessary to assist with the coming need to treat individuals due to COVID-19, and work in full cooperation and coordination with the United States Indo-Pacific Command and all of our military partners.
– Quarantine all travelers arriving from outside Hawaii for 15 days.
– Prohibit all nonessential inter-island and out-of-state travel.
– Close all public and private schools, daycare centers, and preschools.
The directives from the Lieutenant Governor and Mayors are mere recommendations. As Governor, you are the only person in this state who has the direct authority to institute these actions. I implore you to take immediate action for the health, safety, and welfare of all the people of Hawaii.
Scott K. Saiki
Speaker of the House