Counties step up enforcement of stay at home order

Coronavirus

The state surpasses the 400 mark in the total number of COVID-19 cases. Health officials reported 23 new cases Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 410.

A total of 42 cases required hospitalization, up 16 from the previous day. And 24 new recoveries were also reported, for a total of 113.

This comes as counties now are stepping up their efforts to enforce the stay at home order.

Honolulu Police say they have issued more than 5,000 warnings to those violating the stay at home order and only arrested 26 of them. HPD’s deputy chief says it’s time for everyone to heed those warnings.

“I think 5,000 warnings are more than enough. People should have the understanding that these are violations and as of today, we have moved forward with full enforcement rather than warnings.”

Mayor Kirk Caldwell says those violators are wasting valuable resources by forcing police officers to cite them when officers can do other police work.

“This is an unnecessary burden being placed on them because people disregard what should be plain and clear at this point about protecting themselves,” said Caldwell.

Maui Mayor Mike Victorino seems frustrated by violators and didn’t mince words when referring to them.

“I like to use the word knuckleheads and they are abundant. There are knuckleheads out there and they are bragging about what they do, getting together, social gatherings on our beaches,” said Victorino.

He says he would like to start using roving checkpoints or roadblocks to catch violators, and is hoping to get some help from the Hawaii National Guard, which already has troops at the airports for screenings. Maui Police also announced that they will be using drones that are able to make public announcements, to warn people if they’re breaking the law.

“So we’re using every available tool in toolbox to make sure we start getting stricter so people understand this is not something to trifle with. We need to be serious. Especially the next two weeks,” said Victorino.

On Kauai, Mayor Derek Kawakami has already started using National Guard troops to help the police department with roadblocks. Police say there will be more routine checkpoints around the island at various times. Violators can be fined up to $5,000. Although Deputy Chief McCarthy said Tuesday that dollar amount is not determined by HPD and will be decided in court.

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