State briefs for May 22

Group pushes Native Hawaiian values for tourism

HONOLULU — A newly formed policy group announced an effort to reboot Hawaii’s tourist-based economy following the coronavirus outbreak using Native Hawaiian cultural values.

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The Aina Aloha Economic Futures Declaration sent to Gov. David Ige seeks to create an economy based on centuries of island-based values.

The group’s organizers seek input from community members to urge decision-makers to create a new economic road map for the state.

The declaration was authored by 14 community members who want “to reboot the entire operating system of our economy,” said Kamanamaikalani Beamer, associate professor at the University of Hawaii’s Center for Hawaiian Studies.

A new, post-coronavirus economy for Hawaii needs to be based on values “that have sustained life in these islands for centuries,” Beamer said.

Before the pandemic, Hawaii faced another year of “10 million people marching across our land,” said Joseph Lapilio, president of the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce.

Organizers said they hope to have public comments and suggestions by May 31, followed by webinar sessions on issues including agriculture and education through July, concluding with a policy plan in August.

The concept was endorsed by more than 550 individuals and organizations, although the group did not present any specific ideas Tuesday.

“Nothing is carved in stone,” said organizer Noe Noe Wong-Wilson.

Non-emergency surgeries resume at medical center

HONOLULU — The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu resumed non-emergency surgeries after gradually reopening clinics and other outpatient services during the past three weeks.

Surgeries resumed Wednesday at the hospital’s main operating room in Honolulu after officials reported a decrease in coronavirus cases.

The Queen’s Health Systems began opening clinics and outpatient services April 27 at Queen’s-Punchbowl, Queen’s-West and Queen’s North Hawaii Community Hospital, Molokai General Hospital and the Queen’s Health Care Centers.

Hospital staff will maintain safety precautions, including screening everyone entering the facility and requiring the use of masks and hand sanitizer, officials said.

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The hospital plans to provide masks for patients who do not arrive wearing them and adjusted waiting room seating to make social distancing possible.

The medical center also banned visitors in hospital facilities, imaging departments and clinics. Patients with appointments can be accompanied by a single caregiver.

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