LIHU‘E — The county is working on restructuring the tier system again, Mayor Derek Kawakami said Monday, and vaccination rate may soon become a trigger for a not-yet-established Tier 5.
“Tier 4 is the least restrictive of the Kaua‘i County COVID tiers, but we are working with our state partners on restructuring our Tier Chart to allow for a Tier 5, with even less restrictions,” Kawakami said.
A county spokesperson said changes could come to activities that currently have a max capacity or group limit.
In the past, Kawakami has noted that the tier system, which was originally proposed in October and updated earlier this month, is outdated.
The Department of Health reported that 47% of Kaua‘i residents are fully vaccinated, and 56% of the population have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Over 80% of kupuna are vaccinated, Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman said Monday.
“We continue discussions with (Gov. David Ige) and the state on this proposal and we expect to have more details available later this week, so stay tuned,” Kawakami said.
The county shifted back to Tier 4 on Monday after a spike in cases at the end of April and early May, which forced the island to Tier 3, with restrictions on social gatherings (five indoors and 25 outdoors) and additional restrictions on restaurants and bar capacity.
On Tier 4, up to 10 people can gather indoors and 25 outdoors in a social setting. The maximum group size indoors at a restaurant can be up to 10, or 25 outdoors here.
No new COVID-19 infections were reported Monday by the DOH.
“We are not likely to go back to the days when we had full weeks with no new cases, but this spike showed us that Kaua‘i can do a good job of getting COVID under control,” Berreman said.
Berreman said that the state’s mask mandate may soon be changing, too, to be in line with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which recommended vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask in most settings.
“The Governor’s statewide mask mandate remains in place, and applies to everyone, whether vaccinated or not,” Berreman said. “The Governor works closely with the Department of Health, and I’m sure the mandate will be adapted in the coming weeks.”