(HILO, HAWAII)– A recent state mandate that requires all individuals to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination card or a recent negative COVID-19 test in order to enter state facilities is sparking controversy amongst local residents.
Kendra Miranda, 36, stood outside of the Hilo Library with her children on Friday, Sept. 17. The pregnant mother-of-four was denied entry for not carrying either a negative test or proof of vaccination.
Miranda said she is unable to get the vaccine because of previous health conditions and for religious reasons.
Staff at the library assisted the Hawaii Island resident by bringing books to her outside but denied her entry due to the recent state mandate.
Miranda said she felt the denial was a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlaws discrimination in public places, such as libraries.
“I was under the impression they couldn’t keep me out,” she said.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige recently issued an executive order requiring all visitors to state facilities to show proof of the aforementioned documents in an effort to enhance vaccination rates in the state and lower the recent number of infections.
Along with placing restrictions on patrons visiting state facilities, the new order is also requiring state employees to show proof of being fully vaccinated or weekly proof of negative COVID-19 tests.
A recent press release from Ige’s office states nearly 90 percent of state employees are now vaccinated.
Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the new rule, as well as public school students, correctional centers, beach parks, delivery drivers, and those visiting state property for less than 10 minutes.
As of Sunday, Oct. 10, there were 81,501 total recorded COVID-19 cases and 841 deaths in Hawaii. There were also 10,474 total COVID-19 cases and 103 deaths reported on Hawaii Island to date. For more information about the latest COVID-19 information in Hawaii visit this site.