Honolulu city councilor calls on adjustments to the state mask-mandate

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — A resolution from Honolulu City Councilmember Ron Menor calls on adjustments to the state-wide mask mandate. Menor said that outdoor exemptions should be removed in order to better enforce the policy.

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The current face-covering policy allows people who are at least six-feet apart while outdoors — and members from the same household — to remove their masks. Menor said this could be difficult for police officers to enforce, and removing these exemptions could make it easier for residents and visitors to understand the policy.

“I believe that this could bring greater clarity and strengthen the face mask mandate,” Menor said. “It can be more and effective and protect everyone, especially as we enter the holiday season.”   

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is in favor of making these adjustments to the state-wide mask mandate, but he said it could take some time for every county mayor and the governor to be in agreement.

Caldwell said, “I think it could be well received I know, everyone recognizes the uniform mask or face-covering mandate we have right now still has some confusion in it.”

The resolution makes exceptions to individuals with medical conditions, minors and those engaged in ocean activities.

Dr. Tony Trpkovski with Doctors of Waikiki said mask-wearing continues to be one of the best defenses against the virus.

Trpkovski said, “I wear a mask. Nobody in my office, none of our staff, neither Dr. Wu and none of the providers have gotten corona due to the fact that we wear masks.”  

Mayor Caldwell said a mask could also make the difference in reaching the low numbers of COVID-19 cases that are needed to move to the next reopening phase.

Caldwell said, “I think the numbers speak volumes, given where we were earlier in the summer when I think fewer people wore face coverings, so wear it for yourself and wear it for your loved ones.”  

Menor will introduce the resolution to the Honolulu City Council on Dec. 9, where the public will be able to share their opinion.

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