LIHU‘E — Mayor Derek Kawakami said on Friday his office is working to clarify Governor David Ige’s order to close beaches statewide, as well as the other rules enacted through the governor’s fifth supplementary proclamation.
At 6 p.m. on Monday, a County of Kaua‘i spokesperson said they’ve pursued clarifications on that order and are awaiting response from the Governor’s office.
The fifth supplementary proclamation, issued last week, ushered in a list of new rules and protocols statewide; child support obligations can be temporarily suspended or modified; liquor laws were loosened so counties can allow sales of unopened beer, wine or pre-packaged cocktails; and virtual weddings got the green light.
Standards for Hawai‘i’s new health care professionals were changed as well, now allowing fresh graduates and those with out-of-state licenses to practice some forms of health care. This includes registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, radio therapy professionals and speech pathologists.
Monday, the number of active COVID-19 cases on Kaua‘i was at 4, the same as it’s been for a little more than a week. A total of four new cases were reported statewide on Monday, bringing the confirmed total of COVID-19 cases in Hawaii to 584, according to state Department of Health numbers. One more death was reported Monday in relation to the virus, a man visiting from Washington State.
No new cases have been identified in the clusters at Maui Memorial Medical Center nor at the McDonald’s restaurants cluster in Kailua-Kona.
But, that doesn’t mean that state and county officials are going to ease up on stay-at-home and quarantine orders any time soon.
“We understand that our COVID cases have remained steady for several days, and you’re probably wondering what’s next, particularly regarding our economy,” Kawakami said in a Monday public address. “We are actively working on plans for reopening our economy, but one caution: we can’t lift the restrictions if it means compromising our protections for Kaua‘i residents. We have to be careful to prevent disease resurgence, which has happened in some places that relaxed too soon.”
Kawakami said his administration wants to see “case numbers continue to decline” before any restrictions are loosened, with the goal of ensuring health care facilities can handle any kind of resurgence of COVID-19 on Kaua‘i.
“We want to be sure our testing capacity is strong,” Kawakami said, explaining his administration is reviewing health department testing data.
According to DOH numbers calculated through April 19, a total of 24,543 people have been tested for COVID-19 statewide. On Kaua‘i, DOH reports a total of 1,128 people have been tested — up 66 from April 16 reports.
Meanwhile, sections of neighbor island airports have been closed down as incoming flights to Hawaii have dwindled. At Lihue Airport, that includes mostly lobby space. Sunday, 57 people arrived in Lihue from Honolulu and zero arrived from directly from the Mainland, according to Hawaii Tourism Authority; 441 passengers arrived in Hawai‘i including 123 visitors and 184 residents.