As businesses across the country have started to reopen over the past few months, we have been urged to take precautions to keep ourselves and each other safe. While the civil unrest that has spread throughout the United States has been the focal point of many news outlets, we mustn’t forget that COVID-19 continues to be a threat. Since March there have been a total of 816 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Hawaii. Among those cases, 12% of them have needed hospitalization, and 91% were local residents. Our geographical isolation has helped to minimize our exposure as compared to other states across America, but that doesn’t mean that our state is free from the dangers of the Coronavirus.

We have continued to have a mandatory 14-day quarantine in effect for all trans-Pacific travelers, while state officials are considering initiating a pre-travel testing protocol similar to what is being practiced in Alaska. While many of us remain concerned for our economy, both locally and nationwide, we must continue to take steps to prevent the spread of this virus, particularly as we still have no vaccines and limited resources for testing. The impact of the economic crisis is hitting our state especially hard du to our reliance on the tourist industry.

It is especially important during this reopening that we remain vigilant in our standard practices that have been encouraged throughout this time, including wearing masks, covering up when we cough or sneeze, maintaining social distancing of at least six feet and washing our hands regularly. Avoid large groups and don’t make unnecessary trips out of the house. Most importantly, if you feel sick or have any of the flu like symptoms that are associated with COVID, like fever, cough and breathing issues, remain at home or, if these symptoms are severe, call 911 and check into a hospital.