Former Miss Hawaii Jeanné Kapela is urging her home state to implement a “shelter-in-place” order and to close schools indefinitely to protect its residents after she tested positive for coronavirus.
Kapela, who was crowned Miss Hawaii 2015 and competed in the Miss America pageant the following year, wrote on Facebook on Friday that she believes she contracted the virus during a recent trip to New York City.
Kapela, 25, said she was largely asymptomatic, save for a minor cough, and did not have a fever or any other flu-like symptoms.
The aspiring politician said she tried to get tested in New York, but was unable to, and eventually did so back in Hawaii.
“While I was initially shocked about my test result, my shock has become deep concern for our state. Now is the time to band together in common cause to prevent the spread of this illness on our shores,” she wrote.
Kapela called on Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim to follow the lead of cities like San Francisco and implement a 15-day “shelter-in-place” order, and to prohibit all nonessential travel to and from the island.
“Additionally, our state should close all schools indefinitely to protect teachers and our keiki, while quickly instituting a two-week quarantine for all travelers entering the islands,” she wrote.
Public schools in Hawaii are currently closed on an extended spring break, but are scheduled to reopen on April 6, according to the Hawaii State Department of Education.
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“Finally, lawmakers must prioritize working families and small businesses in overcoming the financial devastation wrought by this crisis,” she wrote. “When we help workers meet their basic needs, everyone prospers. Paid sick and emergency leave, access to childcare and family leave, increases to unemployment benefits, and the extension of loans to impacted local businesses are all measures that are vital in protecting economically vulnerable residents and public health.”
Hawaii has 56 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Monday morning, according to the New York Times. The United States has at least 33,018 cases, and at least 428 deaths.
The outlet reported that people arriving in Hawaii will soon have to quarantine themselves for two weeks or risk going to jail for a year.
“We are one ‘ohana. We well get through this. Together, we will emerge more united, more resilient, and more filled with aloha for one another,” Kapela, who was crowned Miss Congeniality in 2016, concluded.
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