Governor David Ige announced Tuesday afternoon, he’s following President Trump’s new guidelines — 15 days to slow the spread of COVID-19. And the state is taking additional measures to do just that.
This comes after the Big Island saw its first case Tuesday. The total number of cases for the state rises to 14.
The Big Island also now has three testing facilities: Hilo Medical Center, Kona Community Hospital, and North Hawaii Community Hospital.
As for the new measures, the governor says these are unprecedented times that require immediate action which may seem extreme. But he says the state needs to take stronger measures to protect the people of Hawaii.
The governor says he wants bars and clubs to close and is directing restaurants to only do takeout orders.
“We are directing bars to close. We do believe the opportunity for individuals to gather can be an opportunity to spread the virus. So we want all gatherings of more than 10 individuals to stop, said the governor.”
“What happens if they don’t close?”asked KHON2.
“We are asking for the community participation and support. Obviously if someone chooses to disobey the orders then we’ll deal with it appropriately,” said the governor.
The governor is also asking all visitors to hold off coming to Hawaii for at least a month.
“This will help us to deal with the virus first protect the integrity of our destination and enable us to welcome our visitors back to Hawaii soon,” he said.
Starting Friday, the governor says, the state will start screening all passengers coming in from cruise ships. That will include thermal screening and interviews by doctors. He says airport screenings are also in the works.
The governor once again made a plea for residents to stop hoarding. And despite all the empty shelves in the stores he says there is no disruption in the supply chain. There are now plans to set up some kind of pop up shops for needed cleaning supplies and toilet paper.
“We’re trying to work with some of the universities and schools that are closed and even Aloha Stadium. So these high demand items, people can go there rather than clogging up the Costco’s in the Sam’s Clubs,” said Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.
The governor is also directing non-essential state employees to work from home for at least the next 15 days.