Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Governor Extends Hawai‘i Lockdown Orders Through May 31

April 25, 2020, 2:52 PM HST
* Updated April 25, 4:32 PM
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Correction: A previous version of this article said groups of more than two are allowed to fish together for community purposes. It should have said commercial purposes, not community purposes.

Hawai‘i will be staying home for at least another month.

Gov. David Ige on Saturday announced the extension of the state’s mandatory stay-at-home lockdown order and 14-day travel quarantine through May 31. The decision was made, he said, “out of an abundance of caution.”

“Businesses need to reopen,” Ige said. “We all want our lives to return to normal … but this virus is serious.”

The governor said he believes if the state began to reopen at the end of April, Hawai‘i would see a surge in new coronavirus cases, as parts of Japan and China have dealt with.

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“That would result in overrunning our healthcare system and more death,” Ige said.

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Hawai‘i currently has one of the lowest confirmed COVID-19 case totals in the country, as well as one of the lowest casualty rates, with 604 cases and 14 deaths as of noon Saturday.

Ige, however, also relaxed some lockdown guidelines over the weekend. Residents are now allowed to exercise on state beaches. Running, jogging and walking are all permitted, as long as social distancing is observed. Loitering on beaches will not be allowed.

Groups of more than two now are allowed to fish for subsistence or commercial purposes, though other outdoor activities remain limited to two people or fewer unless everyone is a member of the same residential family.

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Elective medical procedures are also available again. There is currently adequate hospital capacity, Ige said. However, if a COVID-19 surge presents itself, these rules may change.

Ige said the state will begin to reopen once officials can confirm three specific circumstances:

  • A decrease in cases
  • Comprehensive testing and surveillance capacity
  • A well-developed contact-tracing system

The governor did not give specifics on the necessary decrease in cases to allow reopening to begin or what a “well-developed contact-tracing” would look like. He did say that information would be available in the coming days.

When the state does reopen, Ige said, it will be done by way of a phased approach. The governor said he hoped more lockdown measures will be relaxed before the end of May.

The governor’s actions Saturday were part of the sixth supplement to his Emergency Proclamation, which was signed the same day. They included extending the statewide moratorium on evictions through the end of May.

Anyone who feels they are being improperly targeted for eviction should report it to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations through the State of Hawai‘i governmental website.

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