14,000 counted on the beach

LIHU‘E — Lifeguards reported 14,000 people on Kaua‘i beaches on reopening weekend and in a Monday public address, Mayor Derek Kawakami reminded people that they could again close if people don’t follow the rules.

Kawakami got approval from Governor David Ige to reopen Kauai beaches starting Friday, May 15. It’s a two-week pilot project in which sitting, sunbathing and hanging out on the beaches is allowed.

People must stay with members of their own households, can’t congregate in groups of more than 10, and must maintain social distancing with people they don’t live with.

County of Kaua‘i also asked people not to barbecue on the beach or have potlucks on the beaches.

Over the weekend, the Office of the Mayor had lifeguards monitoring activity, as well as the Kaua‘i Police Department, the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, and National Guard Personnel.

“For the most part people were following the guidelines in place,” Kawakami said Monday. “However, there were concerns with people who are not in the same household who were hanging together on the beaches and in the pavilions — and lots of BBQ’s and potlucks.”

Kawakami reemphasized the reason potlucks and barbecues are “discouraged” is because sharing food with people who aren’t members of your own household can spread the COVID-19 virus.

“We want to continue to keep our beaches open. We want to continue to reopen businesses and activities,” Kawakami said. “But in order to do that, we have to be committed to keeping each other safe while we move freely in our community.”

Part of that “moving freely” is the ability to visit cemeteries, and as Memorial Day and Fathers Day are right around the corner, Kawakami clarified Monday that burials and visiting gravesites are both allowed — as long as social distancing is maintained with people you do not live with.

Kawakami also announced on Monday that the county’s Kupuna Kare program, which purchased produce from Sunshine Market vendors and then distributed to kupuna , received an additional $150,000 from the Community Development Block Grant and another partner — Hawai‘i Foodbank, Kauai Chapter.

That program is open for kupuna 70 years or older.

12 Comments
  1. randy kansas May 19, 2020 6:50 am Reply

    do expectant mothers, count as 2 ?

    what a joke…


    1. Kauai moe May 19, 2020 5:45 pm Reply

      Liberals again trying to control the people and make them obedient. Time to take the red pill.


  2. Palani May 19, 2020 7:12 am Reply

    How strange and wonderful it must be to have nothing but the Kauai Ohana on the beaches, on the island. I wonder if tourists will ever be let back. It must be how Kauai was like fifty years ago.


  3. Leaveitopen May 19, 2020 7:25 am Reply

    You can’t get COVID 19 if it’s not on the island, open everything, please.


    1. Takethebet May 21, 2020 3:05 pm Reply

      Would you be willing to bet your life it’s not on the island? Would you be willing to bet that the next person who lands isn’t asymptomatically carrying it?


  4. SimpleSolutions May 19, 2020 9:05 am Reply

    With zero cases on the island as of yesterday, the chances of getting the virus is very minimal even with potlucks and bbq’s. We know where the virus will come from when it returns to the island (and it will return to Kauai). The mayor’s focus needs to be where we are most susceptible to the virus, that is a the airport gates and enforcing the 14-day quarantine.

    The mayor warns that we better follow the rules or he will rescind our beach access. I ask the mayor to follow the rules and don’t tread on our constitutional rights.


  5. Kauaidoug May 19, 2020 9:50 am Reply

    If a party is disobeying the rules that party should be told to move along, warn them and if necessary a citation. Don’t close the beaches to the vast majority who are being mindful. Don’t punish the rest , please.


  6. Joe Public May 19, 2020 10:33 am Reply

    Always a few to screw it up for all.


  7. Barry Dittler May 19, 2020 12:09 pm Reply

    There is NO scientific proof that Covid can be spread via food !! I have never even seen mention of that. As for the potential to spread the disease, my question is WHAT disease ? There has not been a new case on Kauai in over 5 weeks. Since the incubation period is 14 days, it should be obvious that no one on island has it. Continue to quarantine anyone coming to the island and let us residents begin to have a normal life again. Open the stores, restaurants (with some limits on social distancing) and lets begin to revive the economy, save businesses and put people back to work.


  8. Jeff S. May 19, 2020 8:14 pm Reply

    Enough already of your bashing the tourists/visitors! How about any of you parents that were planning to send your child to the mainland for college; sorry they’re not welcome. You’re not welcome to come visit them if they do manage to get here, because you’re a visitor/tourist. If you’d like to take a trip to Las Vegas or Colorado-nope you’re still not welcome. How ridiculous and down right obnoxious does that sound? I bet you were great at sharing your toys as a child though.


  9. joan levy May 20, 2020 1:16 am Reply

    I think it is time for Kauai to be officially open to all local businesses. Now! If people wish to wear masks, great. If not, great. If store employees feel safer is customers are wearing masks, fine, let’s wear them. As we move forward I think it is important not to quarantine the healthy, but only quarantine the sick-as well as a people who have been exposed to the virus. Noone should be getting on a plane without an onsite temperature check. Anything over 100, they have to go home! businesses can get themselves a fast digital read theromometer that points at the forehead. Anyone with a fever over 100, just doesnt’ get to go inside. On site immediate results testing needs to be supplied to EVERYONE. The government needs to pay for all testing. People need to be encouraged and educated how to strenghen their immune systems. Please understand that isolating and wearing masks weakens on’e immune system. So we are in a catch 22 with respect to wearing a mask. I’ve seen many people walking in the streets with no one around with a mask on. This is detrimental to their health and totally unnecessary. If we use the tools we already know about for prevention we won’t be drowning in failed treatments. Stop saying be safe and we are all in this together! These phrases only reinforce fear and alienate people who have different views about how to deal with this virus. Let’s go back to Aloha and have a great day!


  10. rk669 May 20, 2020 4:46 am Reply

    What a moronic statement,this so-called mayor is delusional!
    Kauaians need to recall this Moran! Are you Saved mr cowardkami?


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