Stay-at-Home Order in Effect for Hawai‘i Beginning Wednesday

March 23, 2020, 3:30 PM HST (Updated March 23, 2020, 3:38 PM)
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Gov. David Ige. Courtesy photo.

Hawai‘i is on lockdown starting Wednesday.

Gov. David Ige announced Monday that the entire state is under a stay-at-home order beginning at 12:01 a.m. March 25 and extending through April 30 due to concerns around the potential spread of COVID-19 throughout the state. Places of residence for visitors include hotels, motels and shared rental units.

“All residents must stay at home unless you work in essential businesses or operations,” Ige said in a press conference.

Initially, enforcement will be centered around education and informing people of how the order applies to them, as the step is unprecedented in the state’s history, Ige explained. However, enforcement will ramp up in aggressiveness with time, although Ige conceded it would be a statewide challenge.

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Noncompliance with the order will be considered a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 or up to a year in prison.

“These actions are extreme but necessary to flatten the curve (of COVID-19 spread),” Ige said.

Residents and visitors may leave their domiciles to pursue healthcare; purchase food, medicine and gas; provide care for the elderly, minors or those with disabilities; return to a residence outside of Hawai‘i; procure education materials through distance learning; and receiving meals by way of government agencies.

The state will ensure essential state and county services, Ige continued. People who work in healthcare, grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and other financial services, food production and farming, public and private schools, restaurants offering takeout services, hotels and motels, construction and essential government functions will be allowed to move freely for work.

All visitors and returning residents to the state are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine and will also be subject to the stay-at-home order issued Monday.

“As alien as it might be for us here in the aloha state, we must avoid physical contact with friends and loved ones to protect all of us in this crisis,” Ige said.

Anyone who wants to inquire about an exemption to the order can send an email [email protected].

If anyone wants to volunteer any ideas or resources to assist in the response effort, send an email to [email protected].

Ige also announced a deadline extension for individual and corporate income tax filings and payments. The deadline has been extended from April 20 to July 20, 2020. Residents don’t need to do anything to participate in this tax relief program. If residents are expecting a refund, they should plan to file as soon as possible, the governor said.

Max Dible
Max Dible is the News Director for both Big Island Now and Kauai Now. He also serves as News Director for Pacific Media Group's Hawai‘i Island family of radio stations. He formerly worked as a community reporter for West Hawai‘i Today in Kailua-Kona from 2016 to 2019. Before that, he was a sports editor, sports reporter, and radio talk show personality covering college athletics in Iowa. He's won several regional and national journalism awards, at both the collegiate and professional levels, for breaking news, long-form feature writing, and his work as a sports columnist.

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