HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s office said a formal announcement will be made on Sept. 8 on whether the stay-at-home order will be extended or lifted past Sept. 10.
The state announced 105 new COVID-19 cases on Sept. 7, which is the lowest case number since Aug. 2.
Lt. Gov Josh Green said the drop in case numbers is a good sign.
“Hopefully this is an indication that the lockdown or stay-at-home order has been helping, so I’m optimistic now,” he said.
Green said any Labor Day gatherings won’t be reported for another 10 days or two weeks, but said for the most part people did a good job not gathering this weekend.
Although he doesn’t know what Mayor Caldwell will announce on Sept. 8, he thinks moving back to a safer-at-home order, which allows for outdoor activities and business to be open without any large gatherings, would be best.
“That’s probably the smart place to be for a while,” he said. “It cramps our style a bit but at least the cases stay low.”
The President of Retail Merchants Hawaii said businesses need some warning for both closing orders, and re-opening.
She said when the second stay-at-home order was announced many retailers only had hours to prepare for shutting down.
“For some of them, they had just a few hours to scramble to let their employees know that you know, they’re being laid off or furloughed, they’re doing inventory, and securing everything. You know, I think there’s a misconception with people that when there’s a shutdown, we just turn off our lights and lock our doors, and that’s all we do. But there’s a lot of steps involved in shutting down a business, and making sure that it’s secure,” explained Tina Yamaki, President of Retail Merchants Hawaii.
“There’s still a lot of steps involved in reopening a store because we want to be sure that when our stores are open, it’s safe not only for our employees, but also for the customers who are coming in shopping there,” said Yamaki.
She said many businesses were hit hard by the second shutdown, and the uncertainty of tourism remains.
“It’s very different this time around because there are no loans. There are no grants for businesses, you know, that really are going to help them like the PPP loans or small business loans that were happening,” Yamaki explained.
She encourages residents to shop at smaller stores and to shop local when non-essential stores open again.
Whatever is announced on Sept. 8, Green said it’s important for people to continue to wear masks and socially distance.
“No matter what we do this upcoming Thursday, just be mindful we don’t want to gather in large numbers and we don’t want to revert back to a high rate of spread,” he said.
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