LIHU‘E — Monitoring the rapid community spread of the coronavirus on O‘ahu, yesterday, Mayor Derek Kawakami announced his intentions to limit casual, outdoor gatherings.
Kawakami requested an additional amendment to an emergency rule that would bring the maximum number of people at a social outdoor gathering from 100 down to 25. The request is currently awaiting approval from Gov. David Ige. The indoor gathering limit would remain at 10.
“To be clear, Mayor’s Emergency Rule No. 13 on gatherings is specific to social, casual gatherings — such as birthday parties, baby showers, backyard barbeques and other types of social functions,” Kawakami explained. “This rule does not apply to allowable businesses, operations and activities, such as schools, churches, restaurants, and retail stores.”
Earlier this week, the Hawai‘i Department of Education (HIDOE) announced that the Kapa‘a-Kaua‘i- Waimea Complex Area would implement a 100% distance learning model for at least the first four weeks of school, beginning next Monday.
Yesterday, the state Department of Health reported 202 new cases of COVID-19. No new cases were reported on Kaua‘i, which currently has four active cases, which all appear to be interisland travel related.
The surge in cases prompted neighbor islands to reinstate the 14-day quarantine for interisland travelers, which was lifted mid-June. Travelers from Kaua‘i to O‘ahu, for example, would not need to quarantine, but those traveling from O‘ahu here would. The trans-Pacific travel quarantine remains in effect.
“With the increase in cases related to interisland travel, we felt strongly that reinstating the interisland travel quarantine was necessary to help prevent further outbreaks on our island, particularly with cases on O‘ahu continuing to rise at a concerning rate,” Kawakami said yesterday.
Limited modified quarantine permissions are allowed for those traveling interisland for critical infrastructure jobs or for medical reasons.
The request for the modified quarantine must be submitted at least two days before travel and must be individually completed for each airport arrival.
Travelers must provide all flight information, including airline and flight number, as well as list all locations and activities that will be performed.
State Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson warned the islands of community spread yesterday.
“The important factor to keep in mind is, community-associated infections continue to be responsible for the surge in COVID-19 cases in the past week and a half,” Anderson said in a statement Wednesday. “The virus is transmitted through droplets, and that’s why wearing masks and distancing is so important. We must all continue these and other safe practices.”