94 doctors and health professionals urge Governor to mandate that businesses close and individuals stay home

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For Immediate Release

HONOLULU, March 17, 2020 — 94 local doctors and health professionals urged Governor David Ige to immediately take more decisive action to limit the spread of COVID-19, including closing all non-essential businesses and asking everyone to stay home.

“Our Governor’s actions yesterday were a start, but not enough,” said Deborah Zysman, Executive Director of Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network. “Governor Ige must mandate extreme social distancing measures before the spread worsens.

According to Jessica Yamauchi, Executive Director of the Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute, “Hawai‘i is fortunate to have a relatively small number of patients right now, but this number will continue to increase. We recently saw our first confirmed case of community spread; if we wait to act until the situation gets worse, it will be too late.” 

Extreme social distancing measures must be put in place before the spread worsens. The health and medical community’s recommendations include:


  • For families: Everyone should stay home. Travel and social events should be postponed  or canceled.
  • For workers and businesses: All non-essential businesses should be closed. All non-essential government employees should also be sent home. Only take-out should be allowed from restaurants; bars and other entertainment venues should close. Those who cannot go to work should be able to receive paid leave or Unemployment Insurance.
  • For visitors: Everyone entering the state should be screened. The state should develop protocols for those exhibiting symptoms and provide hand sanitizer to passengers. The same restrictions for local families should apply to visitors.
  • For the medical community: The state should ensure it has adequate facilities for those affected by COVID-19. Testing should be free and easier to access by waiving the requirement for a primary care physician order.


Media contact: Ryan Catalani, [email protected](808) 531-5502 ext. 4
HIPHI Executive Director Jessica Yamauchi and HCAN Executive Director Deborah Zysman are available for press interviews.

About Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network (HCAN): HCAN is a nonprofit creating a unified voice for Hawaiʻi’s children. Its grassroots movement strives to ensure that all keiki are safe, healthy, and ready to learn. For more information, visit http://www.hawaii-can.org.

About Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute (HIPHI): HIPHI’s mission is to advance the health and wellness of the people and islands of Hawai‘i. For more information, visit https://www.hiphi.org/.


Full letter (PDF)

HCAN logo, HIPHI logo


Dr. Albert Lin, MD, Hospitalist - Wahiawa General Hospitalist (Mid Pacific Hospitalists)
Dr. Ali Chisti, MD MPH, Queens Internal Medicine Hospitalist
Amy Peterson, DPT, Executive Director, Pediatric Therapies Hawaii
Amy Turner RN, University of Hawaii Maui College
Ann Kiyabu, CDA, BA Kapiolani Community College/Health Science
Annette Mente, MA
Dr. Arcelita Imasa, MD
Bev Brody, BA, Director - Get Fit Kauai
Brian Smith RN, BSN, CMSRN
Dr. Brooke Holderbaum, MPH, EdD
Dr. Brooke Keliikoa, DrPH
Dr.Bryan Mih, MD, MPH, Pediatrician, Private Practice
Dr. Casey Tamashiro, DDS
Catherine Taschner, JD
Chelsea Tadena CMA Medical Assistant, Lanai Community Health Center
Dr. Christopher Tsue Pharm.D.
Dr. Claire Townsend Ing, DrPH, Assistant Professor
Clifford Chang MPH Clifford Chang Consulting
Dr. Colette Browne DrPH, MSW Professor, University of Hawaii, Retired
Dr. Colleen F Inouye MD MMM
Cyd L. Hoffeld, CHT, Health Promotions Manager
Danelle Cheng, MA - School Counseling
Dr. Danielle Ogez MD, MPP OBGYN Resident Physician
Dr. David Derauf, MD MPH Executive Director KKV
Dr. David Stupplebeen PhD MPH Junior Specialist, University of Hawaii at Mānoa;
Epidemiologist/Evaluator, Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center (HHHRC)
Dr. Dayton QL Lum, Immediate Past President/Hawaii Dental Association
Deborah Zysman, MPH, Executive Director, Hawaii Children's Action Network and Past President Hawaii
Public Health Association
Dr. Denise Cohen, PhD, APRN Professor-Nursing University of Hawaii Maui College
Dr. Diana M Shaw PhD, MPH, MBA Exec Dir, Lanai Community Health Center
Don Weisman BA
Donna Myers, RN, Queens West ICU
Doris Segal Matsunaga MPH Save Medicaid Hawaii
Dr. Joseph Keawe'aimoku Kaholokula PhD, Department of Native Hawaiian Health, John A. Burns
School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Dr. Sonia Gupta, DMD, Maui Health System Hospital
Dr. Forrest Batz, PharmD
Gerraine Hignite, RDH
Hali Robinett MPH President, Hawaii Public Health Association
Heather Lusk MSW Executive Director, Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center and Co-Director, Hep
Free Hawaii
Hawaii Henry Curtis B.A.Economics Executive Director, Life of the Land
Jane Lim BS, BSN, RN UH Manoa JABSOM Dept. Of Native Hawaiian Health
Dr. Jasmine Waipa MD
Jennifer Baumstark RN, CNM University of Hawaii-Maui
Jeny Bissell RN Supervisor, Maui DOH
Jessica Yamauchi, MA, Executive Director, Hawaii Public Health Institute; Immediate Past Vice President
Hawaii Public Health Institute; Board Chair National Network of Public Health Institutes
Dr. Jesse Hollander DMD, Dental practice owner
Jill Tamashiro, MPH
Jo Ellen Reynolds, BS, MS, RN, CNM, FP, CDR-ret
John Seely MA
John Willliam Bickel M.A. President, Americans for Democratic Action Hawaii
Dr. Joseph Kohn, MD Physician & Founder of We Are One, Inc.
Judith F. Clark, MPH
Juliet Owens BA, CNA,
Ka'imi Nicholson M.A. Aloha Movement Project
Kathleen Hagan, APRN
Kathleen Koga, MPH, Health Educator
Dr. Kathryn Braun, DrPH President, Active Aging Consortium Asia Pacific
Kilikina Mahi MBA HIPHI
Larry Geller BSEE Co-Project Director, GreenWheel Food Hub
Laura Segaran OT Occupational Therapist
Laurie Tanner BA,
Lisa Kehl MPH, MSW, LSW
Maile Ketelsen MPH
Dr. Malia Purdy, PhD, MPH
Marilyn Ruth Seely, MPH
Dr. Marina Hitosugi-Levesque, MD, MPH Geriatric medicine fellow
Marti Townsend JD Director, Sierra Club of Hawaii
Dr. Maya Maxym, MD, PhD Pediatric Hospitalist
Meghan Mcgurk, MPH, Public Health Faculty at UH Manoa
Mele Look, MBA, Director of Community Engagement, UH-JABSOM, Dept of Native Hawaiian Health Nancy Partika, RN, MPH, Public Health Consultant
Ngoc D. Vu, MA
Nikos Leverenz, JD, Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii
Dr. Nozomu Yamauchi DDS Island Endodontics
Paul Davis, MA, MPH
Paula Adams, MS, Hawaii Afterschool Alliance
Pedro Haro, MPH, SM Hawaii Executive
Raya Salter, JD
Dr. Rebecca Delafield, PhD
Rev. Jeffrey M. Lilley M.Div
Ronnie Delos Santos, Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi
Dr. Ryan Roth MD, Hospitalist at KVMH, NHCH, Straub
Dr. Sasha Fernandes, MD
Selene LeGare, MPH
Solange Patrick, MSN, RN
Stacy Evensen, MS
Dr. Stephanie Yan, MD, Private practice surgeon
Dr. Thomas Lee, Phd, MPH Assistant Professor/ UH Manoa
Dr. Travis Hong, MD, Physician, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children
Tricia Gouveia, LPN
Dr. Tricia Mabellos, DrPH, MS Department of Native Hawaiian Health
Valerie Chang, JD, Executive Director, Hawaii COPD Coalition
Vonnell Ramos, MA, MS Executive Director, Hale Opio Kauai Inc.
Dr. Winona Kaalouahi Lee, MD Department of Native Hawaiian Health, JABSOM
Dr. Yvonne Lum, MD, Primary Care Physician, Queen's Healthcare Centers
Yvonne Replogle, Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi

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