Hawaii State Department of Health Guidance

Hawaii State Department of Health Guidance

Statewide Reopening and Recovery Plan

Hawaii businesses are gradually being allowed to open with physical distancing and safety measures in place. The state’s Reopening and Recovery Plan is informed by health, economic, and community-based indicators and may vary by county.

Everyday prevention

As healthcare provider offices reopen, many have put measures in place to protect patients and staff. Healthcare appointments, screenings, and immunizations serve as a first line of defense against serious illness and chronic diseases. Cancelling or delaying health services is especially dangerous for older adults and people with underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, or cancer. Here are a few tips to help navigate the new normal in healthcare visits:

  • Call, don’t cancel – if you have a scheduled appointment, call your healthcare provider to see if the appointment can be kept and what precautions are being taken.
  • Consider alternate healthcare delivery. Telehealth options may be available to you and vaccinations are provided at most pharmacies, saving you a trip to your healthcare provider’s office.
  • Be patient for routine care, but persistent for more urgent issues. Healthcare providers are facing a backlog of patients, but if you have a health concern, insist on being seen soon. For medical emergencies, seek immediate care, and call 9-1-1.
  • For those without health insurance or who are unable to pay for healthcare services, call 2-1-1 or visit auw211.org for assistance. Free or low-cost services are available to those who qualify.

Practice these healthy habits

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds with this protective routine.
  • Disinfect mobile devices and keyboards regularly. They’re like a third hand!
  • Carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer for situations when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Shaka instead of a handshake.

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces.
  • Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into a bent elbow.
  • Cloth face coverings are important to wear in public and should be used with physical distancing to slow the spread of the virus. There are exceptions for young children or anyone who has trouble breathing.
  • Stay home when you feel sick.
  • Clean frequently-touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, faucets, and light switches, with disinfectants.
  • Vaccinate against the flu.

  • Maintain a distance of 6+ ft, or two-arms’ length, from others to prevent germs from spreading.
  • Avoid sharing drinks, food utensils, and e-cigarettes with others

  • Use a tissue or elbow to touch doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons, and crosswalk buttons. 

Prepare responsibly

  • Secure an extra 30-days worth of prescription medications, if possible, and basic medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Buy a few extra shelf-stable foods, such as beans and grains, each time you shop. Please avoid hoarding so we have enough inventory for all residents.
  • Freeze and preserve meats, vegetables and bread so you have enough to last 14 days.
  • Store backup toothpaste, laundry detergent, bath tissue and cleaning supplies, but no more than 14 days’ supply to ensure our islands have enough for each household.

Since so much of our supply chain in Hawai‘i relies on goods shipped from out of state, it’s important to know what our harbors are doing to keep goods arriving to our islands while ensuring our shores are safe:

  • Any ship that has been to China in the last 14 days or that carries a person who has been to China in the last 14 days will be denied entry to Hawai‘i’s shores. Learn more.
  • Most non-passenger cargo ships typically take more than 14 days to travel from China to Honolulu. As long as all people on board are healthy upon arrival, cargo ships will continue to be allowed to enter Hawai‘i ports to deliver goods. Learn more.
  • According to the CDC, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures, due to the poor survivability of coronaviruses on surfaces.
  • Hawai‘i shippers remain operational and maintain regular supplies of consumer goods.

Plan for contingencies

Prepare backup plans in the event that:

  • Your child’s school or daycare has extended closures. See childcare.
  • You’re caring for a sick family member while trying not to infect yourself. See kupuna care.
  • Your office closes temporarily.
  • You’re unable to visit friends, family, and neighbors that are most vulnerable to illness. Phone regularly to inquire about their health and help by delivering groceries, supplies, or arranging healthcare support, if needed.

Create a household plan of action

  • Identify members of your household that may be at greater risk, such as older adults and people with severe chronic illnesses.
  • Speak with your neighbors about their plan and ways you can support one another.
  • Assemble your contact list of phone numbers for family, friends, neighbors, healthcare providers, teachers, employers, your local public health department, and other local agencies you might need to reach in the event of an emergency.
  • Designate a room in your house that can be used for isolation, in the event someone becomes sick. 

If you or any of your family members have questions about health insurance or need coverage, Med-QUEST has resources on options to meet your needs. Learn more.

Support emotional wellness

The outbreak of COVID-19 can cause stress. These tips from the CDC may help manage fear and anxiety you or your loved ones might be feeling.

How you can support yourself, from the CDC:

  • Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19.
  • Take care of your body. Breath deeply, stretch or meditate. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings fade. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Do activities you enjoy to return to your normal life.
  • Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships.
  • Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.
  • Share the facts about COVID-19 and the actual risk to others.

Visitors and Travelers

What to expect at Hawai‘i’s airports and harbors

Screening and cleaning

  • Screening for all passengers arriving to Hawaiʻi airports and harbors is expected to begin soon. The Hawaiʻi State Department of Transportation will post updates on their COVID-19 webpage.
  • Hawaiʻi airports and harbors are thoroughly and regularly cleaned and sanitized, with special attention on restrooms, common areas and touch points, such as handrails, doorknobs and elevator buttons. Additional hand sanitizer dispensers are being installed in lobbies and high passenger volume areas.


  • The Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) is one of 20 ports of entry into the U.S. with a CDC Quarantine Station. On-site quarantine medical and public health officers at our airport limit the introduction of disease and prevent the spread of infection by deciding whether sick persons can enter the U.S. and what measures should be taken to protect the health of our country.


  • The CDC recommends that travelers defer all cruise travel worldwide
  • The Cruise Line International Association has announced its cruise lines will be voluntarily and temporarily suspending cruise ship operations from U.S. ports of call for 30 days. The temporary suspension took effect on March 14, 2020.

Visit the Department of Transportation for more information about Hawaiʻi’s airports and harbors.

For residents and individuals returning to Hawaii

If you are a resident returning home, please be visit the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation for more.

For information on how to self-quarantine at home, please review the information on Symptoms.

For individuals considering travel to countries with a travel notice

The State Department warns Americans not to travel abroad during the COVID-19 crisis. 

  • Everyone should avoid nonessential travel to countries with a “Level 3: Warning” travel notice.
  • Kupuna and those with serious chronic medical conditions should speak with a healthcare provider and consider postponing travel to countries with “Level 2: Alert” travel notice.
  • The CDC does not yet recommend canceling or postponing travel to countries with “Level 1: Watch” travel notices. For those destinations, the risk of infection for COVID-19 is considered low. 

COVID-19 isn’t connected to any race, ethnicity, or nationality. By equipping ourselves, our family and friends, our neighbors, and our visitors with accurate information, we keep our community healthy and w

e keep Hawaiʻi a welcoming place to live and visit.

Read the full article at Hawaiicovid19.com

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