Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Trump Extends Federal COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines

March 29, 2020, 1:11 PM HST
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The federal government is now recommending the public stay at home and practice social distancing for the duration of time that the state of Hawai‘i is mandating those actions by law. The decision is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic that had infected more than 122,000 nationwide as of noon HST Sunday.

President Donald Trump on Sunday extended federal guidelines, which suggest people avoid social gatherings and remain confined to the homes as much as possible until at least April 30.

Gov. David Ige on March 20 issued a stay-at-home, work-from-home order that took effect March 25 and will remain in effect until at least the end of April. Violation of Ige’s order is punishable by up to a $5,000 fine or one year in jail.

Specific federal guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19 include working from home when and if possible, avoiding social gatherings of 10 or more people and staying out of night-life establishments like clubs and bars for the foreseeable future.

The decision to extend the guidelines is a pivot from public comments made by the president in recent days suggesting he’d like to see some sectors of the economy begin to open up again by Easter Sunday, which falls on April 12, 2020.

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Trump’s initial push to stop the spread of COVID-19 went into effect in mid-March. Dubbed “15 Days to Slow the Spread,” the initiative would have expired on Monday, March 30, without the extension.

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