Public defender tells high court prison situation ‘dire’

Deputy Public Defender Jon Ikenaga told the state Supreme Court on Wednesday the current COVID-19 situation in Hawaii’s jails and prisons is “significantly more dire” than in August 2020 when the court issued an order to decrease populations in correctional facilities in an attempt to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

COVID-19 creates dire US shortage of teachers, school staff

SAN FRANCISCO — One desperate California school district is sending flyers home in students’ lunchboxes, telling parents it’s “now hiring.” Elsewhere, principals are filling in as crossing guards, teachers are being offered signing bonuses and schools are moving back to online learning.

Experts eye more travel testing to contain COVID in Hawaii

HONOLULU — Hawaii officials are facing pressure to increase COVID-19 testing for travelers as the islands deal with a record surge of new infections, hospitalization and deaths. The calls come as federal guidelines change to require negative virus tests from both vaccinated and unvaccinated people coming to the U.S.

Hawaii airport workers given extra time for vaccine mandate

HONOLULU — Airline workers and Transportation Security Administration staff have been granted a grace period to comply with a Hawaii order that requires people going to state facilities like airports to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

US easing virus restrictions for foreign flights to America

WASHINGTON — In a major easing of pandemic travel restrictions, the U.S. said Monday it will allow foreigners to fly into the country this fall if they have vaccination proof and a negative COVID-19 test — changes replacing a hodgepodge of rules that had kept out many non-citizens and irritated allies in Europe and beyond where virus cases are lower.

Top doctors say not so fast to Biden’s boosters-for-all plan

WASHINGTON — Just one month ago, President Joe Biden and his health advisers announced big plans to soon deliver a booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine to all Americans. But after campaigning for the White House on a pledge to “follow the science,” Biden found himself uncharacteristically ahead of it with that lofty pronouncement.