Mayor Derek Kawakami is urging residents to wear masks as the state makes its long-awaited reopening to trans-Pacific travelers. The mayor adding, “We know it’s easy to let our guard down when we’re around family and close friends.” Travelers into the county, from out of state or a neighbor island, may avoid a 14-day quarantine with proof of a negative COVID-19 test as registered through the state’s Safe Travels Digital Platform and tested by one of now 17 state-approved entities including airlines and health care agencies.
Ballot drop boxes are available in several locations. and will be accessible 24/7 until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3. They are easily identified by their distinctive purple badging and the Official Seal of the County of Kaua‘i. Ballots should only be deposited in these official ballot drop boxes or United States Postal Service (USPS) mail receptacles, or hand-delivered to the County’s Elections Division. You can get more info at the Office of the County Clerk, Elections Division at 241-4800.
The state officially reopens tomorrow, and Gov. Ige has approved Mayor Derek Kawakami’s four-tier program as well as a pre-travel testing option for travelers. Similar to the trans-Pacific pre-test system that will allow travelers to bypass the 14-day quarantine with a negative U.S. Food and Drug Administration-authorized Test one of 17 state-partnered organizations including airlines and health care systems within 72 hours of arrival in the state, this plan will allow travelers to skip the quarantine.
Hawaiian Airlines and two major hotels on Kaua‘i are gearing up for the reopening of trans-Pacific travel on Thursday, while one hotel expects an uptick, another has seen a decrease in bookings. Hawaiian Airlines officials said they have been encouraged by new bookings and anticipate the first week of the pre-travel testing program to be a bit busier due to pent up demand and residents waiting to return home until the exemption is in place.
Pacific Current, acquired Kaua‘i’s Port Allen Solar Facility in part to decrease the state’s dependence on the tourism industry. With the state of Hawai’i experiencing financial attrition from the coronavirus pandemic, creating a self-sustaining industry has become a focal point for the island, according to Scott Valentino, president of Pacific Current. Valentino said, “In pursuit of our goals, we are supporting a more resilient and sustainable Hawai’i , This also gives us an excellent opportunity to deepen our partnership with Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative.”
Firefighters responded to a hiker in distress Sunday afternoon near Makaleha Falls in Kapa‘a. Rescue 3 personnel were notified around 1:40 p.m., when a 62-year-old Kaua‘i man reportedly injured his leg while hiking along the trail. AMR medics provided additional support and transported the man to Wilcox Medical Center for further treatment.
The Internal Revenue Service is reminding Kaua’i taxpayers who filed extensions that the Oct. 15 due date to file their 2019 tax return is near. Taxpayers should file their tax returns on or before the Thursday, Oct. 15 deadline. For those who still owe, pay as soon as possible to reduce any penalties and interest. Electronic-filing options, including IRS Free File, are still available.
As of today, out-of-state residents and commercial operators will be charged higher fees for entering select Hawai‘i state parks. The higher fees were approved by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources in August. Following a public hearing, the fee schedule change was signed into law by Gov. David Ige last week. Camping and lodging rates were last increased over a decade ago.
A Kaua‘i Police Department officer was arrested Wednesday afternoon for disorderly conduct and criminal property damage while off duty. This past Saturday at approximately 11 p.m., someone triggered a fire pull station alarm at a resort in Lihu‘e. Upon reviewing video surveillance footage, hotel employees were able to determine that it was a false alarm and that 38-year-old Officer Tyrus Contrades of was responsible. Contrades is currently on administrative leave with pay.
Maui County plans to participate in the state’s program waiving the 14-day quarantine for travelers who get a negative COVID-19 test before arriving starting next week. Kauai maintains a second test is safer, shipping in thousands of tests for visitors and returning residents. Lt. Gov. Josh Green is proposing an additional test but only for 10% of travelers. They would be chosen randomly as part of a surveillance program to learn if many visitors test positive.