Despite desperate plea for a quiet Labor Day weekend, Hawaii authorities break up several parties

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Heading into the Labor Day weekend, state and county leaders asked law enforcement to find anyone who violates emergency orders.

The recent surge in COVID-19 cases has overwhelmed hospitals statewide.

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Under Honolulu’s order, gatherings are limited to 25 outdoors and 10 indoors.

On Saturday night, Honolulu police officers were seen breaking up large events.

The Hawaii Quarantine Kapu Breakers and law enforcement agencies worked together and followed up on tips from the public.

“There were several functions that went on, of course, the parties and the raves continue, regardless of the mandate,” explained Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, Hawaii Quarantine Kapu Breakers.

“Now, the trend is to go into these private nightclubs,” he continued.

“People still cannot deal with kuleana, which is responsibility. You like go out [and party]? Then you’re being selfish because you’re not thinking about the next person,” Hewett continued. “We’re trying to control this thing as best as we possibly can.”

According to the Honolulu Police Department’s (HPD) arrest logs, no one was arrested for violation of emergency rules or orders on Saturday, Sept 4. Hewett believes fines should have been given out throughout the coronavirus pandemic instead of warnings.

“When people see that you’re serious, they also become serious,” he said.

Maui police said no citations were given out on Saturday, and Hawaii County said there were no tents or canopies on beaches and everyone was following the 10 person rule, and no citations were given out. 

KHON2 is still waiting to hear back from Kauai police and to see how many citations were given out by HPD.

On Sunday, Sept. 5, tents filled Oahu beaches.

Although health officials encouraged people to be outside, some say 25 people in a group are hard to enforce, and it gives the virus a chance to spread.

“People can just have two parties and 25 next to each other and then another one,” explained Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

All week, health officials warned of the serious situation at hospitals with one doctor telling Honolulu City Council on Thursday, Sept. 2, that his colleagues are having discussions of if and when they would have to limit patients on ventilators, life support and/or ICU beds.

“In my career, I never thought I would be in a place where I would have to make that decision,” said Dr. Julius Pham, Queen’s Medical Center’s COVID-19 chair. “To think about having three or five patients and decide which one of those patients has the lowest likelihood of survival and take that patient off life support…but that’s where we’re at now.”

Lt. Gov. Green, who is currently working his ER shift on Hawaii island, said that is why he recommended a safer at-home order this weekend.

“I specifically recommended that we have a safer at-home order to avoid that kind of question because that would be catastrophic, it’s nothing we should ever allow to happen,” he said.  “And having events and picnics and barbecues over Labor Day weekend was unnecessary. It’s an unnecessary risk, which may perpetuate the possibility that we’ll have to do that at.”

With 433 people currently hospitalized, he fears another surge could be coming.

“The 72-hour holiday weekend could very well be just like July 4 and create a lot of cases and a super spreader experience for the next four to six weeks.”

Find more COVID-19 news: cases, vaccinations on our Coronavirus News page

He asks people to have a quiet Labor Day Sunday night and Monday.

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