Mask wearing remains state law in Hawai‘i

LIHU‘E — Despite federal recommendations to drop the mask for fully vaccinated people, Gov. David Ige announced Thursday Hawai‘i will continue its state-wide mask-wearing laws.

Yesterday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised that it’s OK to stop wearing masks outdoors in crows and in most indoor settings.

“We are unable to determine who is vaccinated and who is not and therefore as a guidance, the best mitigation measure is for everyone to wear a mask,” Ige said during a Thursday press conference.

Only about 40% of Hawai‘i residents are fully vaccinated, Ige reported Thursday, which also marked the first day those between 12 and 15 could receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19, which could slowly inch the state closer to a 75% herd immunity goal.

Ige said that CDC guidance was taken into account in this decision, but it really came down to the lack of a majority of vaccinated people and the inability to determine the authenticity of who is vaccinated or not.

“Our ability to enforce mandates and requirements are just an important part of how we decide to make adjustments and clearly at this point in time with the majority of our community not fully vaccinated, and we’re not able to determine whether someone is vaccinated or not, we will continue to maintain the mask mandate here in the state of Hawai‘i,” Ige said.

The state’s mask mandate says that masks aren’t needed outdoors so long as there is physical distance.

Back in October on Kaua‘i, an emergency rule under Mayor Derek Kawakami’s authority requires all persons five years of age or older to wear a face-covering over their nose and mouth, whether indoors or outdoors, while in close contact with those outside of their household. The county now follows the state’s mask mandates.

Violation counts as a misdemeanor and could lead to a fine of up to $5,000, up to a year in prison or both.

These rules are a departure from how President Joe Biden reacted earlier in the day to the new guidance, where he and staff attended a press conference without masks, according to The Associated Press.

“Get vaccinated — or wear a mask until you do,” Biden said Thursday.

CDC guidance continues to recommend masking up in crowded indoor settings, like inside of a hospital and shelter or when taking public transportation like buses and planes.

“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities — large or small — without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said at an earlier White House briefing, according to AP. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”

This story was updated at 8:38 a.m., Friday, May 14 to clarify the county’s mask mandates.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

  1. RGLadder37 May 14, 2021 1:11 am Reply

    That’s okay. More people will be staying in doors to quarantine more. And wearing face mask whenever they’re outside.

    1. Kiki May 14, 2021 11:43 am Reply

      Ige could take a page out of Hitlers play book and pin felt stars on people with correct papers…all good communists and nazi would agree

      1. semperubisububi May 15, 2021 9:05 am Reply

        Kiki, That’s about as insensitive a comment as one could ever make. I’m sorry the Garden Island allowed it to be published.

    2. Quinn May 14, 2021 10:40 pm Reply

      For once and for all:

      1.) If you wear any kind of glasses with your mask, do your glasses fog up? That means air is escaping your mask, thus so are Covid virus if you are still going through the approximate 2 week Immune Response.

      As well if air, that is your breath, is escaping the mask, then air possibly with the virus must be entering the mask and entering your lungs and thus immediately enters your blood stream, and now you are infected while wearing the mask of false security.


      2.) Virus enter your body through your eyes. Why not full goggles? What’s the sense in a mask but no goggles. The scientists behind this scare job are not smart enough to know this.

      Why do we listen to them and perpetuate stupidity when wearing masks.

      3.) A brisk Tradewind can carry a speck of dust for great distances.

      A covid virus is a thousand times smaller and lighter than a dust particle kicked up in the air by a car passing by.

      Separating from others by only 6’ when we know the virus can be carried hundreds of feet away from where we stand is beyond
      reason, and quire frankly ignorant.

      A hundred feet is not enough distance so why bother with mask.

      3.) “Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer a lot”. But wait a minute, soap of any kind cannot kill virus, you can only rinse them off your hands but not your body where the virus are on you.

      Just to keep the virus count down you need to shower your whole body 24 times a day. Which is ridiculous…!

      4.) Masks keep our body’s toxic poison, carbon dioxide from the lungs. Masks make you rebreathe poison. Pretty Stupid practice…!

      5.) Masks reduce breath coming into your body and thus reduce extremely important Oxygen intake, called Hypoxia, or reduced oxygen. Reduced oxygen to your organs causes accelerated degeneration to your organs and an early Death. Masks cause deadly effects in your body. Cancer is bad degeneration to your organs. Masks should never be worn for more than a few minutes, much less all day. Masks are especially dangerous for children and young adults to 27 years of age who are still developing their brains and bodies, and just as bad for older people where low oxygen causes accelerated degeneration to vital organs and early death. In error your death can be blamed on the Covid virus, a stupid mistake or a downright lie.

      6.) All mask failures make you go to the doctor and get more toxic and lethal prescription drugs.

      7.) Masks prevent children from learning facial expressions of communication.

      8.) Masks prevent young and old alike from meeting the person they are supposed to mate with, a horrible missed opportunity when Mr. or Ms. Right come along and pass by unnoticed.

      9.) Masks are a horrible mistake, and should only be worn by people coughing and hacking up particles of human mouth and lung sickly excretions. In a year of Covid I have not seen 1 person hacking and coughing and that’s by going into the Big Box stores almost every day.

      10.) Masks are meant for bad people trying to hide their face.

      11.) Masks are mandated by ignorant authorities, and those who are on a power trip, and those small people who want to control others, and after they have controlled others they demand them to take the not proven safe vaccines and their dangerous side effects.

      12.) If even masks worked to slow the spread of Covid virus they thus would prevent 98% of the people with healthy immune systems to become exposed to the Covid virus, and then without symptoms undergo the natural Immune Response resulting in Immunity against 2nd infection of Covid virus, and after elimination of the Covid virus in their body, preventing them from being non-contagious, thus preventing them becoming part of Herd Immunity.

      If 98% of the people who get Covid-19 virus have no symptoms. Then if we have 350 people who have tested positive, then about 35,O00 people on Kaua’i have the virus but have no symptoms, the other half risked the vaccines and are still susceptible to getting the virus, as more and more people are getting the Covid -19 virus even after being vaccinated. Proof vaccines do not work, but the human Immune System does.

      Don’t let fear push you to being vaccinated.

      If you are over 70, eat only no sugar chemical free food, stay away from prescription drugs, and enjoy Sun Water Air not masked, Rest and Exercise.

      1. Steve Harla June 12, 2021 8:27 pm Reply

        Well said.
        Also wearing a face diaper lowers your blood oxygen level, which can cause blood clots, which can actually kill you.
        Not to mention a 99.97% survival rate, and a jab that is an experimental jab. Basically… if you had a 99.97% chance of NOT pooping your pants, would you wear a diaper? Exactly, so why wear a face diaper or take the jab. We need to wake up the sheeple and save there lives. Seriously.

  2. Reality Bites May 14, 2021 5:24 am Reply

    “Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities — large or small — without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said at an earlier White House briefing, according to AP. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”

    Follow the Science!!!! For Hawaii it means quarantining the healthy for 10 days if your COVID test results, 72 hours prior, are not in hand when when you walk off a plane.

    What is the goal???? 150K die each. And. Every. Year. Yet less than half of the population gets the flu shot each year. We should wear masks every where and forever! FFS.

    “Enforcement”??? Mask police are everywhere in this state. SMH.

    1. Citation needed May 14, 2021 7:52 pm Reply

      Please cite the source for your data.

  3. alien May 14, 2021 5:41 am Reply

    Nah, I will go with the science not some uneducated mandate from a Dictator. Done with the mask. Criminal for these clowns to think they can tell us what to do when the science says otherwise.

    1. RG DeSoto May 14, 2021 3:02 pm Reply

      “Done with the mask”…I’m 100% with you. See this:
      Nothing like real data.
      RG DeSoto

  4. RG DeSoto May 14, 2021 7:50 am Reply

    Ige and Kawakami are fine examples of the most ill-informed political hacks around. In the face of mounting and overwhelming evidence that masks serve NO purpose outdoors, and limited effect indoors, these two cling to their fear mongering and illiberal mandates. And, to be sure, they are tyrannical mandates, temporarily granted by “emergency powers” and are not “the law”.
    The key word is emergency. There is certainly no emergency despite the whining and hand wringing represented by the daily blurbs about the number of cases. Hospitals are not even close to being overcrowded. Since there is no emergency, if there ever was one to start, these ridiculous mask and distancing mandates need to be abandoned…and defied.

    This from Dr. Kroops (Roger W. Koops holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Riverside as well as Master and Bachelor degrees from Western Washington University. He worked in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industry for over 25 years. Before retiring in 2017, he spent 12 years as a Consultant focused on Quality Assurance/Control and issues related to Regulatory Compliance.)
    Here are some important points he makes:

    ” People who have experienced this virus do NOT need to wear face coverings, period.
    In the open environment, no one should be wearing face coverings. This is the one place where we can get an assist from nature to help reduce the virus molecules. Considering that less than 5% of transmissions have been associated with open environments (and identifiable activities not random encounters), the risk is truly small.
    A face covering may be useful when visiting an at-risk elderly person or in a controlled health care setting such as a hospital or nursing home. But, I think that these should be dispensed by trained personnel and should be focused on using Surgical masks wherever possible. The protection is not so much from viruses but face coverings may be more effective in preventing the spread of bacteria and fungi.
    Children should not be wearing face coverings. We all need constant interaction with our environments and that is especially true for children. This is how their immune system develops. They are the lowest of the low risk groups. Let them be kids and let them develop their immune systems..
    The “Mask Mandate” idea is a truly ridiculous, knee-jerk reaction and needs to be withdrawn and thrown in the waste bin of disastrous policy, along with lockdowns and school closures. You can vote for a person without blindly supporting all of their proposals!
    There may be other health risks associated with continued use of face coverings. While this is anecdotal, I have many physician acquaintances and they are all reporting increases in conditions that may be associated with face coverings, such as facial skin infections, nose/throat and sinus infections, even anxiety conditions. An area of concern is the change in breathing patterns that can be directly associated with face coverings. I train regularly. The only time that I wear a face covering is to gain entrance to the public gymnasium where I train (because it is required). The mask is discarded immediately when I start training, as most other people also do. The staff members do not make a fuss because they understand the dangers of doing exertion with a face covering.
    We also do not know enough about the possible consequences of forcing whole populations to adopt face coverings for extended periods. There may be both health and social consequences that we cannot consider at this time. Humans have developed as creatures whereby we interact with our environment. Our whole upper respiratory tract has developed immense defensive systems because of that. I am worried personally about “unnatural selection.” This is when human actions force a direction of evolution that would not otherwise occur. Often, the result is not good. But that is a whole different subject that needs to be considered.”

    RG DeSoto

    1. Common sense May 14, 2021 5:47 pm Reply

      Thank you, RG.

      End the mask mandates NOW Ige. Listen to the ‘experts’.

  5. jake May 14, 2021 7:56 am Reply

    Someone needs to check out Skydive Kauai. Nobody is ever masked up at that outfit, and tourists are literally strapped to the unmask dudes they’re jumping out of that plane with.

    1. Ahhhhaahah May 14, 2021 11:42 am Reply

      I can’t tell if this is an intentional joke. Or if they person is serious and that In fact makes this 99.97% funnier. Hahahaha. The fact that you’re jumping out of a plane from a company with a bad track record and you would be concerned with potentially catching covid mid free fall??? Hilarious. This made my day.

    2. Colin McCleod May 14, 2021 2:34 pm Reply

      Oh Jake, what a good little brownshirt snitch you are! In case you’re not familiar with history:

      In 1933, the Nazis issued a decree that required Germans to turn in anyone who spoke against the party, its leaders, or the government That decree: “For the Defense against Malicious Attacks against the Government,”

      Colin McCleod

    3. Kari May 18, 2021 6:12 am Reply

      Probably because the mask would blow off the second they jumped out of the plane! Fyi…being a snitch is bad karma.

  6. George Ho May 14, 2021 7:39 pm Reply

    The masks are as worthless as Joe Biden!

  7. Pam May 15, 2021 1:54 am Reply

    The mask mandate remains in effect because of our low vaccination rates. It is not our leaders who are responsible for the continuation of mask wearing. It is the unvaccinated.

  8. Pam May 15, 2021 2:36 am Reply

    Before you all get your panties in a bunch; I am not comparing Hawaii’s vaccination rate to other states. I am comparing it to the recommended percentage that allows us to permanently defeat this virus.

  9. LTEreader May 15, 2021 9:16 am Reply

    “Hitlers play book”
    “pin felt stars on people with correct papers…all good communists and nazi would agree”
    “tyrannical mandates”
    “some uneducated mandate from a Dictator”
    “the most ill-informed political hacks around”
    “Nazis issued a decree that required Germans to turn in anyone who spoke against the party,..”

    Obviously many of you don’t have a clue about the horrific devastation the Nazi’s caused. Your frequent comparisons, and relentless whining about wearing a mask is not only childish, it’s unrealistic. Be very grateful you aren’t under the thumb of Nazi’s, or dictators like Kim Jong-un, and Bashar Al-Assad to name a few. You look foolish, educate yourselves.

  10. Bob May 18, 2021 7:47 am Reply

    In order to encourage others to get vaccinated, the benefit of not wearing masks was introduced. It’s unfortunate that the state does not believe in this incentive. It’s not perfect but the point is to get vaccinated. And if someone chooses to not be vaccinated (at this point with wide availability of highly effective vaccines), then they are taking a risk of their own accord. Open it all up for those that are vaccinated.

  11. Steve Harla June 12, 2021 8:36 pm Reply

    People who are sheeple, and believe what the t.v. says: what’s your source?
    People who are not sheeple and think for themselves: it’s called research, it’s called thinking for yourself, it’s called, if you still believe the fact checkers then you’re pretty much a lost cause. 1. It’s been proven…. nevermind, I’m wasting my time. How about this, What’s your source? You tell me why more than half of America and the real patriots are wrong.

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