Mayor Encourages ‘Mindful Masking’ as COVID Cases Rise

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Mayor Mitch Roth calls on residents to employ mindful masking strategies as on-island case counts of
COVID-19 continue to rise.

Roth encourages people use masks when in large gatherings, grocery stores, indoor gathering places, aboard public transportation, and in bars and restaurants when not actively eating and drinking. No mandate currently exists requiring the use of masks on Hawaiʻi Island, although private property and business owners are entitled to make their own rules related to COVID precautions and regulations.

The ʻmindful masking’ suggestion comes as Hawaiʻi County has reported over 1,400 new cases over a 14-day period. The State reported nearly 12,000 new cases over the same period.


“We are just asking our residents to continue to be mindful in their interactions with each other,” said Roth. “Although we have moved on to a time where we are learning to live with the virus, it is still very much a threat, and there are many individuals with health issues that make the virus a serious risk to their wellbeing. We don’t want to move back to a period of mandates to help control the spread. We’ve been there, done that, and we know what works at this point in the game. That’s why we are again calling on our community to keep each other safe and get us through the current surge — safely.”

Hospitalizations due to COVID on Hawaiʻi Island remain manageable, with a daily high of 16 hospitalizations over the past month, compared to a daily high of 69 during the Delta spike. On-island ICUs have limited capacity but are not overburdened with COVID patients. In addition, 13 of 50 ventilators are in use, with one used on a COVID patient.

Residents are reminded to test anytime they are a known contact, returning from a trip, or experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19. Free test kits can be found at: In addition, testing locations remain available around this island. Visit for more information.


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