Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Stay-at-Home Order Returning to O‘ahu

August 25, 2020, 11:53 AM HST
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Honolulu County Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Courtesy photo.

Residents on O‘ahu will be restricted to their homes for two weeks beginning Thursday at midnight.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced the county’s new stay-at-home order Tuesday, citing the widespread prevalence of COVID-19 on that island, where thousands of new cases have been identified in August. The order will last for two weeks. More details are yet to come.

As of Tuesday, neighbor islands are not subject to the stay-at-home order, though Hawai‘ County Mayor Harry Kim has spoken of possibly enforcing stronger restrictions, as the Big Island has identified several new cases daily for the last three weeks.

On Aug. 21, Kim enacted his Emergency Rule 11, which limits indoor and outdoor gatherings to a maximum of 10 people. Hawai‘i County Civil Defense reported 63 active cases of the virus on the Big Island Tuesday morning. Those numbers could rise with the state Department of Health’s daily COVID-19 update, which will be released at noon today. Early reports indicated that 215 new cases of the virus had been identified across the state Tuesday, including another double-digit day of 11 on the Big Island.

The decision by Caldwell, endorsed by Gov. David Ige who joined Honolulu’s mayor at a press conference Tuesday, is to stem the strain on the state’s hospital system. Hundreds of people are currently hospitalized as a result of COVID-19, and nearly 100 healthcare workers have been taken out of the rotation as they quarantine due to coronavirus infection, according to a Hawai‘i News Now report.

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“Reimplementing a stay-at-home order is what O‘ahu needs at this time,” Ige said.

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US Surgeon General Jerome Adams also spoke at the press conference Tuesday, saying a new testing program is coming to Hawai‘i that should allow for an additional 5,000 tests to be conducted daily. Currently, around 2,500 tests can be processed every 24 hours.

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