(BIVN) – The reopening of the Hawaiʻi economy in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic was once again discussed at a House Committee meeting on Monday, where some agreed that the State has reached a tipping point.
The House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness has been waiting to see the finished framework to “incrementally reopen Hawaiʻi through testing, screening, monitoring and quarantine,” but concerns are growing.
Major General Kenneth Hara said he was disappointed a decision has not yet been made on an exact timetable for reopening the economy, and told the House committee that, “at some point, we need to accept risk.”
Gen. Hara is the incident commander for the state’s coronavirus response.
“We’ve got to accept the fact that people will become infected, and we need to try to push it through the threshold of what our healthcare system can handle, without exceeding, primarily, the ICU and the ventilator capacity,” Hara said.
Hara said his other concern is “if we let the economy go the way it’s going, there’ll be significant civil unrest that could lead to civil disobedience and, worst case, civil disturbance and rioting.”
When other members of the House committee asked what they can do to help move the process along more quickly, Hara suggested that “maybe a letter from this committee to the governor and Department Health may help,” with everyone’s signatures.
“Maybe to try to say, hey this is a consensus among the committee and we feel strongly that we need to move forward with a decision and then try to open this economy up,” Hara said.