HONOLULU (KHON2) — Changes will be coming to Oahu’s tier system for reopening. Mayor Rick Blangiardi says, he wants to be more aggressive and efficient in getting residents vaccinated.
In 2020, Former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell created a system called the Honolulu Recovery Framework which established a tiered reopening system for the island of Oahu. The City currently remains under Tier 2 of the framework, allowing gyms to operate at 25% capacity, restaurants to extend dine-in services and a number of businesses to remain open with restrictions.
It is not clear yet what changes Mayor Blangiardi wants to make with the tier system, but he says he wants to work with the State to make it less confusing.
“We want to look to minimize that but I’m not gonna overstate my boundaries and get out in front. I promised the governor and Dr. Char and everybody else in the Department of Health here that we’d speak in one voice,” said the mayor.
He adds that the surge over the holidays put his administration in a wait and see mode. Blangiardi says, he is confident that the surge is leveling off while Oahu’s daily COVID infections are still in the triple digits. He does not see the need to go back to Tier 1 status and impose more restrictions.
“And hopefully we won’t be mandated to do so. We want to fight against that. I am much more focused, as I’ve said before, on getting to Tier 3 and what are the things we can do to get top Tier 3?” said Blangiardi.
He adds that he is encouraged that most of the people are complying with wearing masks and physical distancing, but the focus is on ramping up vaccinations. As more people get their shots, then more businesses can reopen and get the economy moving forward again.
“None of us are interested in perpetuating the status quo. We all know it’s an unacceptable situation, so each and every day our efforts right now have been how do we move forward? At the same time, we want to be responsible and sensitive not only to the state’s policies and also realistically on what we can do with public safety,” he said.