S.C.R. NO.



S.D. 1











Urging the Governor to create a color-coded advisory system to address the RAPIDLY CHANGING threat of COVID-19.




WHEREAS, considering the recent developments regarding COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, which causes a mild to severe respiratory illness, and the increasing danger it poses to our public; and


WHEREAS, the government of the State of Hawaii has a duty to inform and protect its citizens; and


WHEREAS, constituents have many questions based on a lack of information, and it is imperative to not only promote healthy hygiene and social distancing, but to also take steps to assure the public clearly understands the level of threat our communities face; and


WHEREAS, the President of the United States has announced a travel ban on persons arriving from Europe; and


WHEREAS, countries around the world are implementing procedures to combat and attempt to control the threat and spread of COVID-19. For example, Saudi Arabia is restricting travel to holy sites; South Korea is implementing quarantines enforced by criminal charge; Northern Italy is imposing army-guarded lockdowns of its towns, schools, and universities; China has implemented lockdowns of its cities, travel, and other public venues; Japan has closed its schools; France has requested its citizens to abandon the traditional "bise" greeting and banned public gatherings of five thousand people or more; Iran has suspended its parliament; and Switzerland has banned gatherings of more than one thousand people; and


WHEREAS, counties and states across our nation are calling for, or have already declared states of emergency, with the states of California, Florida, and Washington having already declared a state of emergency; and


WHEREAS, Mayors of Kauai, Maui, and Honolulu have already issued separate proclamations of emergency to combat the threat of COVID-19; and


WHEREAS, government agencies, such as the Department of Defense and other states, such as Washington, have already implemented tiered response protocols; and


WHEREAS, Hawaii state government needs to present a unified, cohesive response in the form of a singular, universally applicable tiered response protocol that informs the public and state agencies alike of both the current threat level posed by COVID-19 and the government's according response; and


WHEREAS, the Department of Homeland Security has previously implemented a color-coded advisory system used to communicate risk levels for previous threats to the public's health and welfare that is easily understood by and familiar to the public; and


WHEREAS, this previously used advisory system requires clear details in the context of the current situation to be effective; and


WHEREAS, the risk posed by COVID-19 can rapidly change, necessitating a system that can be quickly adjusted to reflect the level of risk posed by COVID-19 as well as the appropriate responses to the various risk levels; and


WHEREAS, this previously used system provides a means for the government to quickly and easily inform the public of updates to the situation and to plan appropriately in the event of changing risk levels; now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2020, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Governor is urged to create a color-coded advisory system consistent with the system previously developed and used by the Department of Homeland Security to address the rapidly changing threat of COVID-19; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Governor, Department of Health, and HIEMA are requested to coordinate with the appropriate government agencies to create a single, unified system that will inform the public and agencies alike of the standing threat level and according government restrictions, protocols and policies; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the risk advisory levels could be denoted as follows:


(1) Red Severe, indicating widespread community transmission, spread is ongoing, the majority of the islands in the State are involved, and recommended actions to be taken include:


(A) Continue all measures from the prior risk level;


(B) Consider restriction of movement, including quarantines, isolations, cancelation of public gatherings, avoiding congregate settings, and practicing social distancing;


(C) Access to public installations are limited;


(D) Cancel community activities; and


(E) Cancel all non-essential travel; and


(2) Orange Substantial, indicating sustained community transmission, spread is ongoing, and recommended actions to be taken include:


(A) Continue all measures from previous risk level;


(B) Declare Public Health Emergency;


(C) Limit access to some state/public installations;


(D) Cancel large public gatherings and community activities; and


(E) Limit travel; and


(3) Yellow Moderate, indicating increased community transmission, multiple people in multiple locations have been infected, spread is contained, and recommended actions to be taken include:


(A) Continue all measures from the previous level;


(B) Restrict travel in afflicted communities and advise civilians of the risk;


(C) Limit access to specific installations; and


(D) Strongly advise against large public gatherings; and


(4) Blue Limited, indicating community transmission beginning, sporadic and limited instances of infection, and recommended actions to be taken include:


(A) Re-emphasize health and hygiene protocols;


(B) Limit access to areas with direct connection to infected individuals;


(C) Encourage cancelation of large public gatherings and communities' activities; and


(D) Warn of risks of travel; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that each level would include clear instructions regarding the anticipated action of the government, for example, at the Red risk level citizens can expect the government and state facilities, including schools, will be shut down; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this advisory system would also have clear requirements, which would effectuate a change of risk levels, such as the number of COVID-19 cases in the State; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that each level would include recommended responses and actions to be taken by the public; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, all Executive Branch Directors, Chief Justice, and Mayors of each county.

Report Title:

COVID-19 Threat Levels; Advisory System; Public Notification; Governor's Office