Hawaii officials eye lockdowns amid surge of delta variant

  • People gather on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. Hawaii was once seen as a beacon of safety during the pandemic because of stringent travel and quarantine restrictions and overall vaccine acceptance that made it one of the most inoculated states in the country. But the highly contagious delta variant exploited weaknesses as residents let down their guard and attended family gatherings after months of restrictions and vaccine hesitancy lingered in some Hawaiian communities.(AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

HONOLULU — As visitors continue to fly to Hawaii and locals go about their business, state officials say the islands may need to go into lockdown if the surge in COVID-19 delta variant cases continue to rise.

County mayors are asking for more restrictions, and Gov. David Ige told Hawaii News Now on Thursday that strict mandates are being considered.

If case counts continue to rise “and we push the hospitals across that line then we will have to go to more extreme measures, lockdowns and potentially shutting businesses,” Ige said.

Hawaii has had nearly 16,000 new infections in August amid a spike of cases that has repeatedly broken state records.

On Friday, the state reported a record high 1,035 newly confirmed cases. There was a higher amount reported earlier this month, but it included cases from multiple days because of lab reporting delays.

Earlier this week, Ige asked that tourists stop coming to the islands. But he stopped short of enacting any formal restrictions on travel.

Big Island Mayor Mitch Roth announced new rules Friday that included a limit to the number of people who can gather indoors or out.

Roth’s original proposal included closing beaches and parks entirely, but instead the mandate limits group sizes to no more than 10 people and groups must maintain 20 feet of separation, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Friday.

Park pavilions are closed, and tents are also prohibited.

Roth said enforcement efforts will be increased, and police can issue $250 citations to those who violate the emergency order.

The Ironman World Championship that was slated to be held in Kailua-Kona in October was postponed last week.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is waiting for state approval for his proposed restrictions. Victorino is asking residents to only do essential activities and is requesting that visitors voluntarily stay at their resorts and not visit the remote Hana coastline.

  1. RGLadder37 August 28, 2021 2:50 pm Reply

    Lockdown? That means Walmart managers will be fired again. All it takes is a few insurance policies being filled out. And he’s or she’s gone.

  2. nobody August 28, 2021 4:09 pm Reply

    Close the parks and the naughty ones will just gather indoors worsening the situation.
    Big mistake: The CDC saying unrestricted travel allowed with vaccination. Hard to go against the Fed. (But we should)
    Reimplement testing of residents and tourists both interisland and overseas.
    Stop blaming the tourists and accept responsibility of where the problem lies.

    1. Nick August 28, 2021 11:43 pm Reply

      The tourist who are vaccinated might not even know they are bringing here.

    2. Grady Alderman August 29, 2021 10:08 pm Reply

      Easy for them to say, they still get their paycheck. We have a constitutional right to freedom of movement and to run our businesses. Patrick Henry didn’t say “Give me liberty or give me death! Unless there’s a virus with a 99% recovery rate in which case strip me of my freedoms, my job, my constitutional rights and put me under house arrest”. Tyrants only relinquish power by force!

      1. Me August 31, 2021 2:45 am Reply

        How many Infected people are sick?
        How many Vaccinated people sick and or pass it on?
        Thought only way to get over this thing is Herd Immunity?
        Whats in the experimental chemicals they injecting?
        Who wants to be a Guinea Pig?
        We need protection from evil and not lied to by it.

  3. Vincent Alvarez August 28, 2021 8:22 pm Reply

    I am lucky to be able to afford a vacation every 3 to 4 years. My family stands to lose a great deal of money if we decide to abort our long planned, long delayed trip to Hawaii. We were supposed to travel March 2020. We are hoping that Hawaii shuts everything down. That way we will be able to recover the thousands spent on our B&Bs and other expenses that we will forfeit if we just decide to not go on our own, without a shutdown. We would rather not go to where we are not wanted. But we cannot just walk away from thousands of dollars.
    Please, SHUT DOWN HAWAII!!!!

  4. jake August 29, 2021 6:28 am Reply

    It hasn’t started killing your kids yet, but it will eventually, and maybe then locals will start paying attention to the dangers of big family gatherings and drunk-a$$ garage parties. The Delta variant does not discriminate ages. Watching your 5 year old choke to death in and ICU is not going to be something you’ll ever be able to unsee.

    1. Shane Talbert August 30, 2021 11:08 am Reply

      I have had it and also been vaccinated. If we don’t figure out a way to deal and move on we may all die from something else!

  5. Cody Thomason August 29, 2021 8:24 am Reply

    It’s very unfortunate that some Power Hungry Politicians are making irrational and cowardly decisions. Locking People Down , Closing Businesses,and trying to control the population over a Flu that has the same Mortality Rate as the Annual Flu(which has disappeared) shows a lack of understanding and hopefully the end to their failed leadership!
    Also, I am Vaccinated, however the bribery going on ($50.00 Gift Cards for the Double Jabs and $100.00 Gift Cards for the J&J Jab) is simply a despicable Government Entity taking advantage of the ill advised Hawaiian People. #MyBodyMyChoice Right??

  6. Nick August 29, 2021 9:01 am Reply

    If the governor wants tourists to stay away then the state of Hawaii should reimburse traveler for any lost money due to cancelation. Non changeable airline tickets and condo rental fees and prepaid excursions. Travelers should not be penalized for someone else’s stupidity.

  7. Kalehua August 29, 2021 9:31 am Reply

    Yes! Require testing for ALL travelers even the vaccinated! The negative test results should be received BEFORE boarding not After landing. I have never understood that asinine policy. No house arrest lockdown. Try some other measures first please.

  8. Pingme August 29, 2021 10:16 am Reply

    The “Delta” is one of an unimaginable large number of varients to come from this bio-attack. It may be more contagious. However it is NOT more deadly.
    Lock down and mask up if it makes you feel safer.
    Bottom line is this:
    6 to 8 thousand people die everyday in the US.
    That number has not increased. There are no “extra” deaths from anything.
    Please think critically. We can read and think.

  9. KauaiFarmMan August 29, 2021 12:56 pm Reply


  10. KauaiFarmMan August 29, 2021 1:01 pm Reply

    Anyone who participates in a Health Pass System that bars the unvaccinated to be able to enter stores and participate in society is creating a system of medical tyranny. Once you download that app, you will subjected to a lifetime of shots. Every year , multiple shots just to keep your pass to shop and go to restaurants and grocery stores. Nations are already ordering vaccines 5 years in advance? Why you ask? Because you will be taking 3-8 shots a year depending on your age to keep your Health Pass.

  11. Jamie Walker August 29, 2021 4:16 pm Reply

    Please don’t do another lock down on Kauai

  12. KT August 29, 2021 6:48 pm Reply

    Stop vaccinating. Plus… really lockdowns? This is such bologna. Lockdowns have NEVER in history EVER been proven to work for viruses. They only prove to work for tyranny. Its not even legal. I don’t care what they pencil in.

  13. Chita E. August 29, 2021 6:53 pm Reply

    The more postive cases we get, the sooner we reach Herd Immunity, and the virus and variants are eliminated from our communities.

  14. Docotr's orders August 29, 2021 6:57 pm Reply

    Dr. Fauci has said over and over, we need Herd Immunty to end the Pandemic.

    Only the elderly are at risk, those under long term medical care.

    Don’t ruin the rest of us.

    The vaccines are causing mutated variants .

    1. GT August 31, 2021 9:35 am Reply

      You are incorrect. A dear friend has a five-year son with Covid, on a ventilator right now in Seattle. Its not “just” the elderly at risk.

  15. Mainland tourist August 29, 2021 10:33 pm Reply

    Please keep in mind, mainland tourists are required to have either, proof of vaccination or a Covid test within 3 days prior to arrival. Imho, that suggests the tourists are the least likely cause of Covid in Hawaii. Perhaps if you’d like to extra secure, you could require tourists to both be vaccinated and tested within 3 days prior to arrival.

    1. Randi Ho August 31, 2021 1:31 pm Reply

      We come to Kauai at least twice a year for over 20 years and support it to the fullest.. we believe in freedom of our bodies but also believe that everyone should be tested 3 days before they come to the islands .. those vaccines are not 100% .. if they were you wouldn’t need boosters
      Everyone be courteous, cautious and safe but let Kauai survive .. if you cut tourism you are basically killing the island .. be smart .. let people bring dollars to support you all ..

  16. Richard Steven Edwards August 30, 2021 7:08 am Reply

    Its nice having tourism back but with this major influx of Covid and variants, WE NEED to go back to the 3 day quarantine for ALL of our safety

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