Oahu could stay in Tier 2 longer than hoped

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — With the recent rise in coronavirus cases, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says it’s still possible for Oahu to move into Tier 3 by Thanksgiving. Right now, the 7-day average of daily cases stands at 88, with a positivity rate of 3.2 percent. If the island jumps above 100 cases in the next two weeks, the Mayor says Honolulu will snap back to Tier 1.

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It’ll be hard, but Mayor Caldwell says the City could move into Tier 3 the day before Thanksgiving if cases are below 50 for the next 2 weeks with a positivity rate of 2.49 percent. Oahu’s 7-day average in the first week of Tier 2 stood at 49 cases. By week two, the island moved up to an average of 71. The Mayor says it doesn’t look like the island will be hitting Tier 3 by next week as hoped.

“Again, it is a 7-day average for a two week period in order to move into Tier 3. I was hoping we hit it next Wednesday. We’re not going to hit it given the number of cases. It’s almost impossible to do,” the Mayor said. “We could get there by Thanksgiving and move into Tier 3, but we won’t hit it by next week.”

Through contact tracing, Mayor Caldwell says there have been clusters found from people gathering with friends or family members not from the same household.

“We’ve got clusters, a cluster of seven where three healthcare co-workers got exposed. We see a cluster among police officers now, who may have gathered somehow. So everyone needs to be so so careful,” he said.

Honolulu Police say since the pandemic began, about 30 HPD personnel have tested positive for COVID-19. The Mayor says they’re trying to work on a unified mask mandate that would be adopted by the state.

“I think the Governor is deferring to each of the counties, you know. He’s taken away our authority but allows us to come to him with our various orders,” said Mayor Caldwell. “But I do think in the one area where it would be very helpful is a statewide mandate for mask wearing.”

A spokeswoman from the Governor’s office said in an email that a statewide mandate on masks already exists.

“With the Governor’s approval, each county has issued its own specific guidelines unique to its community with minor variations. Violations are misdemeanors, and counties handle the enforcement.”

Spokeswoman for Hawaii Governor David Ige’s office

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