Anderson and Park have been the subject of considerable public criticism for the way they have handled Hawaii’s coronavirus response, including the state’s testing and tracing efforts which critics have complained have fallen far short of what’s needed.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park has led Hawaii’s response to the coronavirus pandemic since it hit the state earlier this year.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Okubo did not say why Park had decided to take the leave of absence.
DOH Deputy Director Danette Wong Tomiyasu is now leading “all disease investigation and immunization activities” under the Disease Outbreak Control Division, according to Okubo.
“The Department of Health is continuing to fully execute disease investigation and immunization activities for the state,” she said in a statement. “This includes an accelerated expansion of contact tracing capacity. All COVID-19 response activities are proceeding and continue to be reinforced by the entire Department of Health, National Guard, Counties, and federal and community partners.”
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