National Guard members are now conducting medical screenings at airports across Hawaii, the latest step taken to try and stem the flow of COVID-19 into the islands.
As of Monday, those screenings of passengers’ temperatures were happening at the Honolulu airport, as well as the airports in Hilo, Kona, Kahului and Lihue, according to Jodi Leong, a spokeswoman for Gov. David Ige.
The guard is still ramping up, and those checks should be happening at stations within every state airport by the end of the week, Ige said in a press conference Monday.
A Hawaii National Guard vehicle was parked Monday at the Honolulu airport, where guard members have started screening passengers’ temperatures due to coronavirus concerns.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
The guard will be screening all arriving and departing passengers, according to a state Department of Defense release.
If someone is screened at the airport and running a fever, then paramedics stationed there will come in to make an additional medical assessment, according to Tim Sakahara, spokesman for the Hawaii Department of Transportation. From there, the paramedics will determine if the person needs to be taken to the hospital or seek medical attention, he added.
Nearly 300 members of the guard are helping the state in its response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ige last month enacted a self-quarantine order, in which most passengers arriving in Hawaii must go straight from the airport to their home or hotel and stay there for 14 days.
Three of Hawaii’s mayors have called for even tighter restrictions, urging the White House to ban essential travel into the state. Ige, however, has asserted that such a move would be “impossible to enforce.”
Sign up for our FREE morning newsletter and face each day more informed.
Before you go . . .
During a crisis like this, it’s more important than ever to dig beyond the news, to figure out what government policies mean for ordinary citizens and how those policies were put together.
For the first time, Civil Beat has become a seven-days-per-week news operation, publishing new stories and a new edition each Saturday and Sunday as well as weekdays.
This is perhaps the biggest, most consequential story our reporters will ever cover. And at no other time in Civil Beat’s history have we relied on your support more. Please consider supporting Civil Beat by making a tax-deductible gift.