News

Utah Couple Arrested, Charged For Violating Quarantine

July 31, 2020, 2:03 PM HST
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From left to right: Jessica Tripp, Joseph Tripp (PC: HPD)

A Utah couple was arrested and charged by police on Thursday for violating the Governor’s 14-Day Quarantine Order.

The order, which has been standing since the inception of the Covid-19 epidemic, prohibits mainland visitors from daily activities outside of their place of occupancy during their stay, until they self-quarantine in place for 14 days.

According to Hawai‘i Police Department, Jessica Tripp, 30, and Joseph Tripp, 31, arrived in Honolulu on July 24 and came to the Big Island on July 28. Police received information from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense that the couple were violating quarantine.

Civil Defense is part of the state-assigned task force designated with the responsibility of following up on Big Island visitors and ensuring they are abiding by the quarantine procedures in place.

“The couple believed that they were exempt from the Quarantine Proclamation,” Friday’s release stated. “Police investigating the report determined that the couple were not exempt and violated the quarantine order resulting in their arrest.”

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Both individuals were charged and bailed out on a $1,000 bond pending their court appearance on Sept. 15, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. in the Hilo District Court. The couple still has to complete the quarantine before assuming their activities or face another arrest.

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“The Covid-19 Epidemic is real, despite what others might interpret as a conspiracy theory as reported by some social media sites and the like,” stated Hawaiʻi Police Major Kenneth Quiocho. “What we have to do is abide by what the health experts are saying, and what the law requires. The methods that have already been proven to limit the exposure count; quarantine, wear a mask, social distancing and being more frequent with hand washing and sanitizing when needed.”

The County of Hawaiʻi is ramping up efforts in performing enforcement action where needed for visitors that fail to abide by the Governor’s 14-Day Quarantine Order, the release stated.

The only exception is for first responders and critical infrastructure personnel with an exemption. Those that think they qualify for the exemption can do so through the State Attorney General’s Office by contacting them at [email protected]

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“Examine the Big Island’s minute exposure numbers in comparison to the mainland and other Hawaiian Islands. This is a real threat, and the police are doing their part to ensure that people on the Big Island remain safe,” Quiocho added. “We don’t have the resources to devote to making sure people are compliant, and need everyone’s cooperation. We will take law enforcement action where needed.”

The police also want to remind the public that there is a mandatory face-covering order in Hawaiʻi County for those over the age of five years old.

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