Gov. Ige plans to announce more restrictions this week

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — More restrictions for Oahu are coming. This, as another triple-digit increase in cases sends the statewide total since the pandemic started past 5,200.

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Health officials reported 174 new cases Monday, 163 on Oahu, nine on Maui and two on the Big Island. One previous case was removed due to updated laboratory information.

The governor plans to announce more restrictions later this week. Health officials and economic experts say a total lockdown might not be the best option.

Gov. David Ige released a statement saying he met with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and both agreed that additional targeted restrictions will be needed for Oahu. An announcement with details is expected this week.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green says he also made recommendations to the governor that more restrictions are needed.

“The most important thing is knocking this thing down and I think going on the offensive by putting in significant restrictions. Likely a stay at home order for 30 days, that will combine with beefing up our tracing program. That will decrease our caseload very significantly,” said Green.

Members of the House Select Committee on COVID-19 point out that this time around, it’s important for the State Department of Health to provide more details on clusters, like where and when it happened, what the people were doing, and were they wearing masks?

“It gives the public some information as to what kinds of activities are currently causing the problems and allows them to modify behavior accordingly,” said Mark Mugiishi, HMSA president and CEO.

The committee says the public is frustrated, and will be more willing to comply if data is collected and presented in a way that makes sense. And perhaps a more aggressive tone is needed to let people know that their actions directly affect the economy.

“So you want to go to the beach park and have a party? Don’t expect to have a job when you come home,” said Carl Bonham, executive director of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.

House Speaker Scott Saiki released a letter sent by the health department in response to the committee’s request. DOH says it is in the process of determining how to provide more information to the public without violating privacy laws. The committee points out that the information they’re asking for would not do that. Saiki says it’s also best if the committee relayed the information to the public.

“The public wants us to provide direction and I think that this committee is comprised of very credible people who can help the state provide some structure for everyone.”

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