LIHU‘E — County of Kauai has loosened restrictions for construction and landscaping and for realtors starting today, cracking open the stay-at-home mandate and allowing some local residents to get back to work.
Mayor Derek Kawakami announced Tuesday that starting today those in the trades can work on residential construction projects — but there can only be two workers and the homeowner present at the job site at one time.
That applies only to jobs with an open building permit with the Department of Public Works.
Other requirements include that the two workers and homeowner on site maintain a distance of six feet or more between them at all times, unless a closer distance is required for safety; wear a covering over their noses and mouths; do not share tools; do not travel in the same vehicle, unless they are members of the same household; establish a handwashing station; and limit trips to hardware stores.
Landscapers can resume working today as well, with no more than one landscaper per parcel of less than five acres and three employees on parcels between five and 10 acres.
Landscapers must follow the same social distancing guidelines laid out for those in the construction trades, and must also provide a portable toilet on site or parcels over 10 acres in which five landscapers are present.
“We feel comfortable making these operational adjustments given the island-wide masking protocols that started today,” said Mayor Kawakami in a Tuesday public address. “Although these have been confirmed by our health officials to be low risk activities, it is still a risk. We are asking those individuals who are resuming work to please refrain from excessive travel.”
Also starting today, realtors with properties in escrow are allowed to close their listings provided they were posted prior to Tuesday, April 14. . Real Estate professionals doing rental property management are also included.
Kawakami said these individuals must not take any in-person meetings unless to sign documents or view the property; not travel in the same vehicle; not have in-person open houses; and only conduct due diligence or contracted activities on a property, ensuring only two persons on site at a time. All persons assisting in real estate activities must maintain a distance of six feet or more between them at all times.
All of the other Emergency Rule mandates are still in effect – including mask-wearing and stay-at-home orders.
Health officials reported there were a total of five remaining active cases on Kauai as of Tuesday afternoon. Of the 21 total confirmed cases since the end of February, 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.
A total of 515 individuals have tested positive for the virus statewide, and of those 333 have been released from isolation. Nine have died.
Hawaii Tourism Authority latest figures report a total of 16 people landed on Kaua‘i on Monday — two were crewmembers, eight were residents and six were visitors.