Hawaii leaders are pleading with residents to help prevent COVID-19 spread

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — With yet another triple-digit increase in COVID-19 cases, calls to bring back the stay-at-home order are growing.

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More pressure is being put on Oahu to do more to put a stop to the rising numbers. Some of the neighbor islands are moving to distance themselves from the island that’s become the epicenter in the state.

With 173 new cases Wednesday, the state is now topping 2,500 cases total. That’s nearly double what the total was two weeks ago.

Lieutenant Governor Dr. Josh Green says its time to take a step back by staying at home.

[RELATED: Hawaii Lt. Gov. encourages people to stay home, and play some funky music]

“A two-week pause,” suggested Lt. Gov. Green. I think people will understand, then reassess in 10 days. That’s what I recommended because that way we’re not just slamming the door. We give people hope, but we also need to get these numbers down,”

Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino says now is the time to act.

“I said this two and a half weeks ago and we let it go this point and look at what’s happening around us,” Maui County Mayor Victorino said. “I think we’re in trouble. Know what I’m saying?”

Mayor Victorino is pushing to further delay the start of the school year for public schools, including universities. He’s worried that the state won’t be able to keep track of the influx of out-of-state students coming in.

He’s also renewing his request to re-instate the interisland traveler quarantine. But Kauai County Mayor Derek Kawakami wants a more targeted approach. He’s asking the governor to allow a 14-day quarantine only for travelers coming into the Garden Island–including Hawaii residents.

“If we are not going to be able to get the inter-island quarantine, I would say that we would have to scale back. Not scaling back also means having a lot more restrictions, and we’re trying to avoid that,” said Mayor Kawakami.

However, Mayor Victorino says whatever action is taken needs to be statewide.

“We’re in it together even though this is Oahu. This affects Maui and Maui County and the entire state,” said Mayor Victorino. “For those who are saying ‘open up,’ the numbers speak for themselves and we cannot say because we live in Maui, or Lanai or Molokai we don’t have to close down and they have to close down because let’s be honest, the commerce and interaction between the counties drive through Oahu.”

He’s now pleading with Oahu residents to do their part to stop the virus from spreading.

“We know it’s bad and we want to pray for you, but you really got to start to help yourself also.”

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