Hawaiian Island Can Create ‘Resort Bubbles’ for Quarantined Visitors

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STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | People in Alabama and Florida dealing with ‘historic and catastrophic’ flooding … Vermont governor vetoes climate legislation … Minnesota governor asks presidential candidates to follow Covid precautions.

Hotels on the island of Kauai in Hawaii will be allowed to create “resort bubbles” that allow visitors to roam a resort’s amenities, like the pool and restaurants, while they follow the state’s 14-day mandatory quarantine period. The catch? They will need to wear an electronic bracelet that the hotel can use to track their movements. If somebody wearing a bracelet moves off a resort, police would be notified and travelers could face arrest and criminal charges for violating the state's Covid-19 rules. The plan, signed by Gov. David Ige and advocated for by Kauai Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami, does not yet have an implementation date. “We understand the need to address the economic hardship facing our tourism-based community, while also preserving the safety of our residents,” Kawakami said in a statement. “The resort bubble program is an added tool to reopening our economy while we learn to co-exist with this virus.” Kekoa McClellan, a spokesman for the American Hotel and Lodging Association, said all of the island’s hotels are interested in the idea. “There are models in place,” said McClellan. “It’s not going to happen overnight. This will take several weeks to think through and get the right mechanics in place.” [Star Advertiser; Hawaii News Now; Travel and Leisure]

HURRICANE SALLY | Hurricane Sally slammed into Alabama on Wednesday, with the slow-moving storm causing “historic and catastrophic” flooding in that state and the Florida panhandle. Hundreds of people needed to be rescued and authorities warned that thousands of people would need to be evacuated. A new three-mile bridge in Pensacola, Florida was severely damaged, with the storm washing away a section of the structure. "It's going to be a long time, folks ... to come out of this thing," Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said. [CNN; AL.com; Associated Press]

DANIEL PRUDE INVESTIGATION | Lovely Warren, the mayor of Rochester, New York, this week removed Police Chief La'Ron Singletary from his job, a week after he announced his plan to retire at the end of the month. The move comes amid an investigation into the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man with mental health issues who died after being restrained by officers. “This initial look has shown that we have a pervasive problem in the Rochester Police Department," Warren said. "One that views everything through the eyes of the badge, not the citizens we serve. It shows that Mr. Prude's death was not taken as seriously as it should have been by those who reviewed the case throughout city government and at every level." The city attorney and Warren's communications director were also relieved of their dugies for "failure to act, inform and follow policy and procedures.” Recently released emails show top police leaders asked the city not to release the video of Prude’s death, with then-Deputy Chief Mark Simmons writing that the department would not “want people to misinterpret the officers’ actions and conflate this incident with any recent killings of unarmed black men by law enforcement nationally.” Simmons is currently the interim police chief. [NBC News; Associated Press]

CLIMATE LEGISLATION VETOED | Vermont Gov. Phil Scott vetoed the Global Warming Solutions Act, legislation that would have allowed citizens to sue state government if goals to lower greenhouse gas emissions weren’t met on time. Scott said the legislation “will lead to inefficient spending and long, costly court battles, not the tangible investments in climate-resilient infrastructure, and affordable weatherization and clean transportation options that Vermonters need.” [WCAX]

MINNESOTA CAMPAIGNING | With both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden making campaign stops in Minnesota this week, Gov. Tim Walz asked them to follow state coronavirus safety guidelines on crowd sizes, masks, and social distancing. “Please demonstrate that you value Minnesota by protecting the health of our communities. Join us in our efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19, keep our businesses open, and get back to the activities we love,” Walz said. [Star Tribune]

Laura Maggi is the managing editor of Route Fifty and Emma Coleman is the assistant editor.

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