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Reopening Framework for Honolulu Based on Daily Cases, Positivity Rate

September 23, 2020, 6:00 AM HST
* Updated September 22, 8:11 PM
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Gov. David Ige is expected to sign off on the latest COVID-19 emergency order from the City & County of Honolulu, aimed at reducing virus spread and to put O‘ahu on the path to economic recovery.

The new order establishes criteria for loosening or tightening restrictions on businesses and activities to keep Honolulu healthy.

The framework has four tiers based on the level of community spread, determined by two factors: the number of daily cases reported and the positivity rate. These will be based on seven-day averages over two-or-four-week periods. The order includes a color-coded matrix of which types of businesses are allowed and which remain closed in a particular tier.

At a Tuesday afternoon news conference Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced many businesses and activities would be allowed to re-open and resume, with restrictions, under Tier 1. The criteria used for loosening restrictions, beginning this Thursday, is an average seven-day daily coronavirus case count of more than 100 cases, and a seven-day daily positivity rate on O‘ahu of more than 5%.

The framework includes a mechanism for advancing or retreating to another tier indicated by the metrics. The community cannot advance to the next, less-restrictive tier for at least four consecutive weeks and can only move forward one tier at a time. Conversely, the city can skip tiers in moving back.

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“For months, Hawaii’s business community has called for a comprehensive reopening plan,” Sherry Menor-McNamara, President & CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawai stated. “We thank the Mayor for engaging with our members and taking our concerns into consideration in creating the Honolulu reopening strategy.

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While there is still work to be done, McNamara added, Caldwell’s plan represents a step forward that will provide parity to local businesses and allow many to reopen.

“Reopening is only the beginning of a defining moment for Hawaii’s economy,” she said. “Businesses are still not even at the stabilization phase. We will only be able to move forward if we continue to keep case numbers low by practicing personal responsibility. Keeping the numbers low and our state moving forward is key to saving local businesses and jobs.”

Click here to see Caldwell’s full order.

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