Easing restrictions

LIHU‘E — Both Gov. David Ige and Mayor Derek Kawakami announced coming relaxed restrictions on Tuesday, with Kawakami canceling the overnight Kaua‘i curfew and Ige announcing a list of businesses that can reopen on Thursday.

Those businesses include shopping malls and retail stores, car washes and pet groomers, and health-care and social-assistance agencies, including elective surgery and non-emergency services.

And, in preparation, organizations like The Shops at Kukui‘ula are gearing up to open storefronts that aren’t already open under “essential business.”

Stacie Chiba-Miguel, property manager at The Shops at Kukui‘ula, said management is excited to hear retailers have been given the green light to reopen, and they are looking forward “to opening up our retail shops and welcoming back our local shoppers in a safe manner.”

“In the coming days, we will be working with our retail merchants to implement safety protocols for their shops,” Chiba-Miguel said. “This is in addition to the safety measures we already have in place at the center. But we will also be installing hand-washing stations and property signage to promote social distancing and wearing of face masks. We encourage the community to visit our website or follow us on social media for the most updated list of merchants open.”

Ige announced the list in his seventh supplemental emergency proclamation relating to COVID-19, illuminated in his Tuesday public address, explaining the move puts Hawai‘i in the “stabilization phase” — opening up businesses with a low risk of disease spread from a public-health perspective.

Ige said the full list of businesses would be posted online along with his seventh supplemental emergency proclamation.

Other businesses that can open include non-food-related agriculture, like landscaping companies, apparel and electronics stores, warehousing and wholesale operations.

Criteria for businesses that will be allowed to reopen relates to the ability of businesses to keep both employees and customers safe and their ability to follow social-distancing guidelines. All of the mask mandates, sanitation rules and social-distancing regulations remain in place.

Already, florists and some other businesses, including golf courses, have been allowed to reopen.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the number of active COVID-19 cases on Kaua‘i remained at zero, with a total of 21 confirmed cases on the island. Statewide, there are a total of 625 confirmed cases of the virus, with four new positive cases reported from Honolulu on Tuesday. In Hawai‘i, there have been 17 deaths attributed to the virus.

On Kaua‘i, Kawakami said the 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew ends today.

“At some point down the road, if we see another spike in cases, we may need to revisit the nightly curfew to help preserve our first-responder resources,” Kawakami said Tuestay.

“But if we all continue to work together to stay home as much as possible, we’re confident that our nightly curfew is no longer a necessary tool in our fight against COVID-19,” Kawakami said in a Tuesday public address.

Kawakami enacted the strictest emergency rules in the state at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, and has since allowed several of his emergency rules to expire because Ige made redundant and statewide rules after Kawakami took action.

The curfew never went statewide, but Ige does still have a stay-at-home order in place that restricts movement within Hawai‘i to essential travel only — he said Tuesday that order has been rebranded, however. Now it’s called the “safer-at-home” order.

Officials will look at opening higher-risk businesses, such as hair salons, churches and restaurants, in subsequent phases, Ige said Tuesday.

Both Ige and Kawakami warned that if there’s a surge in cases, some restrictions may have to be reinstated.

“We have seen a recurrence in several places around the world, and we need to make sure that doesn’t happen here in Hawai‘i,” Ige said.

A 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving in Hawai‘i remains in effect as the tourist-dependent state grapples with massive unemployment.

For detailed guidance, see the governor’s website at governor.hawaii.gov/emergency-proclamations.

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• Editor’s note: As of Tuesday afternoon, the seventh supplemental emergency proclamation relating to COVID-19 had not been posted on Ige’s website. Jessica Else, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or jelse@thegardenisland.com.

14 Comments
  1. rk669 May 6, 2020 3:16 am Reply

    Read it and Weep,Political Careers are Over for Kawa&Iggy!
    Your overreacting has destroyed many small businesses in the islands. That will be your Legacy! Dumb&Dumber!


    1. Pete Thomas May 6, 2020 12:37 pm Reply

      Amazing how you can be so critical about someone who was trying to protect lives, how all of us who understands this virus wish it was just ignorant people like you who would catch covid19 suffer from a stroke, blood clots and kidney failure and all the pain that goes with them before you die you stupid self centered idiot


    2. mumbojumbo123 May 6, 2020 1:09 pm Reply

      And how many lives have been saved? It’s hard to tell, because they didn’t die!


    3. Son May 6, 2020 1:58 pm Reply

      Just looking for star power, politician run just to get power and authority. Just a popularity contest. They are not smart enough to manage a county or a state. Same people running Hawaii all these years into the ground with higher taxes, higher cost of living, low paying jobs, you get what you voted for.


  2. Jake May 6, 2020 3:40 am Reply

    Should be titled “Easing the Scamdemic”

    Total of 17 COVID-19 deaths “attributed” in the state to date. In 2018, we had over 550 deaths due to Influenza/Pneumonia in Hawaii.

    Let’s burn the State’s economy to the ground. “Orange man bad….put someone “nicer” in as President. This is the only way he loses.” SMH.


    1. Joke May 6, 2020 1:10 pm Reply

      So, success is failure? Got it.


  3. Everythingisawesome May 6, 2020 7:46 am Reply

    “our nightly curfew is no longer a necessary tool in our fight against COVID-19”

    It never was.

    Follow the timeline here…
    – October 2019: Virus on the loose since at least October 2019.
    – Early March 2020: Tests for virus now available. Verified infected persons on Kauai early March 2020 documented in TGI. Guaranteed they were not the first. Guaranteed. Antibody tests will prove this.
    – End of March 2020: 2 weeks after detected cases. Mayor dictates curfew, house-arrest, masks, 14 day quarantine, stay off the beach, etc. at end of March 2020, after the virus has circulated for 5 months. Not entirely his fault. How was he to know? That’s the job of the county health officer. The fear mongering didn’t start until early March. There certainly wasn’t a noticeable increase in deaths on the island.

    Let’s not give a bad policy, or the Mayor, credit for a stopping a “threat” that all evidence says doesn’t exist on a hot, humid, sunny island.


    1. SimpleSolutions May 6, 2020 8:47 pm Reply

      In retrospect….other than limiting travel (which would have happened anyways) to Kauai….none of the other actions implemented on Kauai had any impact on Covid-19 to this island. Our mayor is like Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark…we would have gotten to where we are today if he did nothing at all.


  4. randy kansas May 6, 2020 9:47 am Reply

    “At some point down the road, if we see another spike in cases, we may need to revisit the nightly curfew to help preserve our first-responder resources,” Kawakami said Tuesday……….

    a big spike would mean going from zero to 1 ?


    1. Kandy rancid May 6, 2020 1:11 pm Reply

      Probably only if you’re the 1, am i right?!


  5. pointfisha May 6, 2020 11:21 am Reply

    Too late. Damage done. Too many people trampled.

    Going to give everyone their lost time, jobs, financial stability, civil liberty and dignity back, too?

    Easing restrictions doesn’t go back in time and make right panicky leadership, poor judgment, heavy-handedness, militarism and overreach of power.


    1. pointlost May 6, 2020 1:12 pm Reply

      Which of those did you lose?


  6. truth be known May 6, 2020 1:21 pm Reply

    Mayor Kawakami, what part of ZERO (0) new cases of CV-19 on our island for the past month do you not comprehend? You and your surfing buddies have had the beaches all to yourselves for the past month. It’s time to open the beaches for the rest of us. We appreciated your initial quick response but it’s time to relax the reins of power so we can get on with our lives and pick up the pieces. Please continue to quarantine and test newcomers as they are the only threat we now face on our island. The people who live here are not the problem.


  7. Rick May 6, 2020 7:34 pm Reply

    Thanks for “throwing us a bone” while the plan stays its course. The time is now people.


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