From UH games to the marathon, large events in limbo despite COVID hospitalizations trending down

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Governor’s office says for now, there will still be no fans in the stands for University of Hawaii Football. This decision is based off the current seven-day average for COVID-19 which still exceeds last year’s peak. The state has decided it is not appropriate to reduce restrictions at this time.

However, Gov. David Ige does expct to get to a point this season where fans may return in a phased system.

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Meanwhile, spectators may return to indoor City park facilities. This comes as the City announced City park gyms will reopen for permitted use next month. Masks will be required and all facilities will follow the Safe Access Oahu rules and require proof of vaccination or negative COVID tests.

“The spectators do count towards that capacity limit,” said Nathan Serota of the Department of Parks and Recreation. “So it’ll be up to the leagues or whoever to see that balance between players, coaches and officials with the games, and the amount of spectators that they can have.”

With winter approaching, the World Surf League is supposed to hold a qualifying series at Sunset Beach at the end of October. It’s working with the City, and says it’s too early to speculate on a competition this fall. Meanwhile, the Honolulu Marathon is now taking registration for an in-person event in December. Also, after being moved to Utah this year, the Ironman Triathlon is getting the green light to return to Hawaii Island in 2022.

“Looking at the numbers that were happening in our hospitals, our ICU numbers that were kind of way above what our healthcare system can handle, now wasn’t the right time,” said Mitch Roth, mayor of Hawaii County. “We just figured that as time goes by, those numbers would change.”

As numbers trend down, officials are hopeful that Hawaii can return to normal.

“As we see those numbers changing, we’re looking forward to opening up for events like the Kona Coffee Festival which happens around this time of year and our Merrie Monarch,” Roth said. “There’s a lot of great events that we have here.”

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All proposals submitted by county mayors on restrictions are submitted to Gov. Ige for approval. Proposals are reviewed by the Gov., the Department of Health, Attorney General, and HIEMA.

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