If cases continue to rise, Kauai could see more restrictions on social gatherings

Coronavirus

LIHUE, Kauai (KHON2) — Since travel has opened up, Kauai has seen a rise in cases. Currently, the county is in Tier 4, but if cases remain above the threshold then Kauai will see additional restrictions in Tier 3. If this happens, the size of gatherings and operation of outdoor and indoor organized team sports would change.

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Currently, restaurants and bars are allowed to have a maximum of 25 people at a table outdoors. But that goes away if the county enters Tier 3. The limit would become 10. Duke’s Kauai tells us the restriction wouldn’t change much because their largest seating limit is 10, but the fact that Kauai has rising cases and may have to move down a tier is concerning. Dropping even further down to Tier 2 would trigger Kauai to opt-out of the state’s pre-travel testing program.

“With the increase in tourism to the islands, though it’s a low number, it definitely has helped our business,” said Duke’s Kauai General Manager Derek Kessler. “If it causes those numbers to go down again, and we’re relying solely on local residents, then it will be definitely make it tough on business.”

A big impact would be on gatherings, especially with the holidays coming up. Social gatherings of up to 10 indoors and 25 outdoors are currently allowed. However, moving down a tier would limit the number of people gathering outdoors to 10.

“I want the kids to get out there and be able to play. I want the parents to be able to get back into, you know, some kind of normalcy with life,” said Kawaihau Community Little League Player Agent Casey Tupou.

Under the county’s tier chart, outdoor organized team sports and indoor team sports would have to be discontinued in Tier 3. Registrations for the Kawaihau Community Little League just wrapped up. Tupou says many of the players have been waiting to play baseball and some would be heartbroken if they suddenly couldn’t do so.

“If that’s what the Mayor decides to do,” she said, “I would back the Mayor because, again, this is a younger generation of kids and we need to be safe.”

One new case of COVID-19 has been reported as of Wednesday, Nov. 18, bringing the total of Kauai’s active cases to 13. Kauai is currently in the least restrictive tier, but if cases remain above a weekly average of two per day for two weeks, or test positivity remains above a weekly average of 1%, the county will move to Tier 3.

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