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Breaking News

Masks now mandated

LIHU‘E — Mayor Derek Kawakami announced more rules for Kaua‘i on Monday that further closed county parks, require mask-wearing for everyone in public, and outline sheltering procedures for Kaua‘i’s homeless population — all effective at 5 a.m. today.

Now, per the mayor’s newly enacted Emergency Rule #6, everyone over the age of 5 on Kaua‘i is required to wear a cloth mask for most public activities when outside the home.

The only exceptions to the rule, which Mayor Derek Kawakami announced Monday, are when you’re exercising, entering a bank or other financial institution, or at the ATM machine, and when you’re in your own personal vehicle, with members of your immediate household only.

“If you live in a single family residence, you do not need to wear a mask while in your yard or otherwise on your property. However, if you live in a multi-dwelling home, or condominium, you must wear a mask in common areas,” Kawakami explained in a Monday public address.

On Monday, Kawakami also closed all county swimming pools, park pavilions and playgrounds, effective today. General park areas will remain open, provided social distancing is maintained.

Anyone caught not wearing a mask in public [except for approved activities] or breaking any of the other rules in Kawakami’s Emergency Rules are guilty of a misdemeanor and face fines up to $5,000 and up to a year imprisonment.

“Folks, our goal first and foremost in establishing these rules is to contain the spread of COVID-19 on our island as best we’re able,” Kawakami said Monday. “And because our community has done such a great job at heeding our Emergency Rules, we have so far been able to keep our number of positive cases low.”

He continued: “If we can continue to keep our numbers low, and continue to contain community transmission, we want to slowly get people back to work in a way that minimizes risk.”

Specific parks and procedures for sheltering the island’s homeless population were outlined on Monday as well. County of Kaua‘i formally designated Lucy Wright, Salt Pond, Lydgate, Anahola, and ‘Anini as places where the houseless community can be.

But, those who want to shelter-in-place in one of those locations have to obtain a no-cost permit in order to do so. Kawakami said county officers will be reaching out to people currently staying at the parks to arrange permits.

“This permitting system helps us to meet the needs of our houseless community who must shelter in place, while also helping to ensure proper social distancing for the health and well-being of all,” Kawakami said Monday. “To be clear, this invitation is being extended to those in our existing houseless community. These permits are not available to anyone subject to the statewide 14-day mandatory quarantine.”

Monday, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 was at 21 on the island. Of those 21 cases, 16 individuals have either recovered or returned to their home on the mainland. The remaining five active cases are residents, three are in home isolation, one is in isolation at a facility, and one remains in isolation in the hospital. All but one case has been confirmed to be travel-related, according to officials.

Statewide, 504 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed with 315 of those released from isolation and nine deaths confirmed as of Monday.

Health and state officials are still sticking to their social distancing recommendations, and say the best way to keep exposure low in the community is to wear masks while outside in public, to practice social distancing and to practice enhanced hygiene.

  1. Major Lee Hung April 14, 2020 4:18 am Reply

    Done a great job of following the mayor’s rules that we only have 5 current cases yet everybody needs to wear a mask outside their home.
    What’s going to happen when sars-cov2 comes back, like the flu, next season- we start this all over? According to the CDC the deaths from influenza, for which there is a yearly vaccine, for this season is as high as 64,000. What if after a vaccine for sars-cov2 there are similar numbers? Do we continue to shutdown?
    The mayor and many in the public need to put this into perspective and realize that the simplest steps are the best and most efficient at stopping transmission. Covid19 is the new hot disease that people are so eager to show how compliant they are while we have completely ignored the over 2 million who die yearly from the top ten diseases in the US.

  2. High April 14, 2020 5:19 am Reply

    Road blocks,curfew mandatory masks, closing hiking trails. The mayor is a little Stalin kawakami. This is ridiculous

  3. WaimeaResident April 14, 2020 5:25 am Reply

    Should have been the first rule.

    Mask wearing in public is common sense during a pandemic.

    1. Idiots April 15, 2020 7:07 am Reply

      All you grumbles about the mask are idiots. If the mayor don’t do these precautions the virus will spread. We can’t wait till it spreads to take action that will be too late. Scary how much cry baby morons we have on island. You all should go back where you came from idiots

      1. Everythingisawesome April 15, 2020 1:33 pm Reply

        Yeah! Go back to America, you grumbles

  4. Khsgrad April 14, 2020 5:29 am Reply

    Another assault on Civil liberties; it’s amazing how the media and government has scared people into submission. ACLU ought to have a field day with your mandates- you are NOT the federal government DK, they are the ones who can enforce this sort of rule, not you. Mandated masks should be for those who are likely to get sick- we are in a rural area the HOTSPOTS may need rules like this, not Kaua’i.

  5. Khsgrad April 14, 2020 5:42 am Reply

    Too bad the only option is to vote for Democrat number 1 or Democrat number 2 here…. The power of this Emergency Proclamation has created a dictator. As for me, I will take the ticket and buy my food online instead of supporting local commerce. This is getting ridiculous-

  6. Everythingisawesome April 14, 2020 6:23 am Reply

    Unless our county government is keeping information from us, this is conclusive proof that the mayor, while well intentioned and charming, and his henchmen, less than charming, have no clue what they are doing. They are simply following the actions of other mayors, never questioning if the actions are suitable to the local situation. Now 5YO instead of 10YO? What difference does that make? Do 5YOs not touch things and then put their hands in their mouths and then get kissed by their aunties? There is zero logic behind the rule. Those most likely to be spreaders among us are still uncovered! If I drive my car w/o a passenger and breathe all over everything, what difference does it make to require that I put on a mask when someone new gets in the car? If there was a virus in my breath, it’s already all over everything!
    There is NO out-of-control rampant disease killing ANYONE on this island even prior to social distancing being implemented and off-island visitors turned away. Prove me wrong. Where is your overloaded hospital? There isn’t one. Where are the dozens of people so sick with this virus that they can’t even go to work? There are none. How many have died because there are only 14 (or whatever) ventilators on the island? Zero. Articles by SCIENTISTS emphasize the healthy benefits of sea air…and your king requires you (under penalty of imprisonment!) to cover your face! You ALL are acting irrationally paranoid…dare I say less than human. That’s worse than anything this virus can do to you.

  7. randy kansas April 14, 2020 7:58 am Reply

    how do “homeless” folks….. “shelter” in place ?

    good news: at least requiring a permit for them to camp in the parks, will get them registered in our government records;

  8. Kauaicsence April 14, 2020 8:45 am Reply

    Ok, so homeless are to shelter in place? Has anyone drove through Lihue past the state buildings lately? Homeless walking the streets all day long.. back and forth from Haleko valley area..Come on KPD crack down on this activity it is posing a RISK to all the tax paying citizens of Kauai.. And now they get to hang out at all our beach parks? What a bunch of bull.. Who thought of this? Lets reward them by giving them beach front real estate as their own as everyone has to shelter in place at their house. That’s messed up too..

  9. Rick April 14, 2020 9:57 am Reply

    For those of you reading this, None of these rules carry the weight of the law. Yes you will get fined, and possibly arrested, However you will be able to sue these people and win.

  10. Mychal April 14, 2020 1:26 pm Reply

    Can anyone answer this question:
    1) Hawaii, at its peak, averaged 30 positive Covid cases per day
    2) Hawaii tested about 700 persons per day
    3) To qualify for a test you must be symptomatic (fever, respiratory issues, etc.)

    What is going on with the 670 persons per day that did not have Covid? Flu, common cold, hypochondria?

  11. Christian riso April 14, 2020 2:01 pm Reply

    Can we still go to the beach to swim or exercise ? What are the rules?

  12. RG DeSoto April 14, 2020 4:37 pm Reply

    One way or another the heretofore latent tyrant and his trusty sidekick, deputy dog, will make criminals out of all of us. The confusing morass of rules, regulations, mandates and general violation of constitutional rights is disgraceful.
    Imagine the irony of demanding “social distancing” and in the same breath threatening us with a year in a crowded jail for any of the multitude of possible infractions–walk in a park with no mask; get tossed in a crowded jail. Or, threaten to fine someone who’s been purposefully put out of work $5k for violating some ludicrous edict by the tyrant–like mowing a lawn for some income. Makes sense right? All for what will turn out to be no more dangerous than a slightly higher than normal flu season and certainly less dangerous than 2018 combined influenza/pneumonia and lower respiratory deaths: 218,606. Or how about diabetes at 84,946?
    RG DeSoto

    1. Everythingisawesome April 15, 2020 1:12 pm Reply

      Preach it. You left out food poisoning. 420,000 people globally every year. Every been to a Chipotle?

  13. Keapana1968 April 14, 2020 6:17 pm Reply

    Overarchingly I support Mayor Kawakami’s actions to protect our community. However, wondering if this edict is legal? Where do ones constitutional rights factor in?

  14. KauaiFarmMan April 15, 2020 7:06 am Reply

    You have all foolishly traded your freedom for false security. A year in jail for not wearing a mask in public? What about the constitution? What about our rights? So far in Italy and the USA 99% of deaths have been from people with pre existing conditions. We can’t shut down society and enact martial law for that. Our mayor is a fascist acting under the guise of security. This will go down in history as a hoax that stole the last bit a freedom we had. A free independent Hawaii? Good luck under the new total authoritarian government you are all signing up for and supporting. Wake up people this is a sham. There’s a real virus, not deadly enough to destroy the fabric of society and erode all our freedom. More people will die from suicide this year and starvation if this madness doesn’t stop. You’ve been fooled. Wake up Sheepeople!!!

  15. rk669 April 15, 2020 8:05 am Reply

    Derrick seems to be a Frightened Little Boy! Are you Saved,Mr.Mayor?
    You will be the Laughing Stock of Hawaiian Mayors!
    What are your real motives,behind your rules? Henpecked?

  16. RG DeSoto April 15, 2020 8:19 am Reply

    Even in communist Vietnam there are absolutely no lock-down or other Stalinist mandates like here in a supposedly free country…& what are the results? Vietnam, with a population of 97,338,579 has a mere 267 cases and ZERO deaths. (there are approximately 50 countries with 0 deaths)
    I guess we shouldn’t expect anything rational out of a mayor that probably can’t find Vietnam on a map and has never read the constitution that he took an oath to uphold and defend.
    RG DeSoto

  17. Acton April 15, 2020 10:15 am Reply

    “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    “Authority that does not exist for Liberty is not authority but force.”

    “Everybody likes to get as much power as circumstances allow, and nobody will vote for a self-denying ordinance.” – Lord Acton

    Ali’i and Kapu always run together.

  18. TAKE 123 April 15, 2020 11:57 am Reply

    It is sad that all of you people that always grumble about what the Mayor is doing never steps up and run for mayor. It’s always easy to look at the negative side until you or a family member gets infected. Please think why we are in this situation, is it the Mayor’s fault for the COVID 19? No, but his job is to make decision even it is not popular to look out for everyone’s safety. If you don’t like what he is doing then move and go live somewhere else.

  19. Acton out April 15, 2020 9:09 pm Reply

    Yeah, TAKE 123, get rid of ALL opposing opinions.
    Tell ’em “You get out!” “Be quiet when your king talking!” That’s the ali’i spirit!!

    But… no can leave. On lockdown.

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