Waipi‘o Valley Closed to Public Use Over Weekend
In anticipation of large crowd gatherings, combined with the lack of resources to enforce COVID-19 mandatory measures, the County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works announced Thursday that public access to Waipi‘o Valley is closed 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting Friday, May 22 through Monday, May 25.
The closure and safety measures are due to numerous visitors to the area not conforming to COVID-19 social distancing and exceeding crowd size restrictions, the department said in a press release. Special duty officers and Waipi‘o Valley Rangers will be on-site at the top of the road leading into the valley to ensure valley access is restricted to local traffic only, which includes residents, landowners and farmers. Local traffic will be allowed to pass through a single vehicle at a time.
The public is reminded that according to the latest amendment to Mayor Harry Kim’s COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 4, all County of Hawai‘i beach and shoreline parks, except Hakalau Beach Park and Kūhiō Kalaniana’ole Park, are open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. They are also all subject to the following restrictions that seek to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- No group shall exceed 10 people.
- All persons using open beach and shoreline areas who are not part of the same household shall comply with state and county social distancing requirements.
- All pavilions, playgrounds, sports courts and fields, indoor facilities and similar areas where gatherings may occur in these beach parks shall remain closed.
- Valley tours are not authorized during this time.
If there are any questions or concerns, call the Department of Public Works at 808-961-8321.