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.”

Before you go . . .

For the past several months our nonprofit newsroom has worked beyond our normal capacity to provide accurate information, push for accountability, amplify smart ideas and new voices, and double down on facts and context to write deeply reported local stories.

The truth is, our evolution as a public service news organization over the past 10 years has prepared us for this moment in time, when what we do matters the most.

Reader support keeps our small newsroom afloat. If you value the work of our journalists, please consider making a tax-deductible gift.

About the Author