Governor allows some businesses to reopen, some restrictions in Maui remain

UPDATE: County General Manager Sandy Baz announced on the afternoon of Wednesday 5/6 that shopping mall retail will be allowed to open on May 11. Further rules and guidelines will be published soon.

Governor David Ige announced on Tuesday that the state will begin “phase 1” of plans to reopen businesses and activities closed due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The changes to the home care rules will come into effect on Thursday, May 7. Some restrictions that were lifted in the rest of the state will remain in effect in Maui.

“Today was another victory in the battle against COVID-19,” Ige said. “Only four positive cases have been reported. That’s more than two weeks of new single-digit daily cases. We have some of the lowest case counts in the country and we have flattened the curve. We can now continue our phased approach to reopen our local economy. “

The governor added that he had referred to several measures before deciding to proceed with the reopening of the state, such as a downward trend in positive COVID cases, the ability of the health system to handle any outbreak. potential, and robust testing and contact tracing.

“We have achieved all of these metrics,” Ige said.

Phase 1 of the reopening plan is titled “Stabilization” and allows businesses and activities classified as low risk to begin opening, as long as they can maintain social distancing, sanitation and safety requirements at the location. work and clients.

In addition to what is already considered essential under the current rules, the following businesses and activities will be allowed to open under the new state rules: non-food agriculture, including landscaped, floral and ornamental; astronomical observatories and support facilities; car washes; pet grooming services; health care and social assistance, including elective surgery and elective services; non-profit associations; retail businesses and services, including clothing, electronics and florists; shopping centers (except Maui shopping and retail centers); and wholesale and warehousing operations.

The governor advised residents to check with their county to confirm the restrictions. As of press time, the mayor’s office has not responded to a request for clarification of discrepancies between state and county rules. The latest county guidelines are on Mauicounty.gov.

“To reflect this new approach to our COVID-19 response, the stay-at-home order is now referred to as the home security order,” Ige said. “COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on our economy. This is the first step in reopening businesses and getting people back to work. “

The next steps in the reopening plan could be implemented in the coming weeks if progress against the disease continues, Ige said.

“We plan to make further announcements in the coming weeks,” he said, mentioning restaurants, barber shops and places of worship as considerations for the next phase of reopening.

But, warned Ige, “The health of the community is always our top priority. We have seen a recurrence in several places around the world and we need to make sure that does not happen in Hawaii. “

If the new rules cause an increase in the number of cases, “Some of the restrictions may need to be reinstated,” Ige said. “Your efforts made this reopening possible. Your vigilance and commitment to social distancing are helping us win the fight against COVID-19. We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re getting there. “

While encouraging people to shop at local businesses to boost the economy, Ige repeated the advice, “You are safer at home.”

Mayor Michael Victorino on Tuesday shared Ige’s optimism as he looked at the recent weakly positive COVID-19 test results, but continued to express his caution and ask the people of Maui to cooperate with the recommendations of social distancing and d ‘hygiene.

“I’m not just going to take the plunge and try to be in front of everyone in this regard,” said Victorino. Medical facilities in the county are limited, he explained, with small hospitals in Lana’i and Moloka’i, and only 26 intensive care beds and 24 ventilators for the entire island of Maui.

“This whole county has done a very wonderful job in complying and following up on instructions and policies set not only by the state, not just by the CDC and the federal government, but here in the county itself. and I am very grateful for it. Again, remember this will only work if you put the right foot forward, ”said Victorino.

“I will open as requested, but if something starts to go wrong, I will not hesitate to close again,” said Victorino. “And I don’t want to do this, so help me do it right.” You Can Make a Difference… You can prevent the return of COVID-19 if you follow these basic guidelines, which the CDC, WHO, and the Hawaii State Department of Health have published. One guideline he highlighted was that while some stores are open, they are not open for socializing aisles and meandering, but for targeted shopping.

Victorino added that testing would continue to be stepped up in the county, including future antibody tests. A “Kamaʻaina Jumpstart” program is also being prepared to stimulate the economy by encouraging residents to shop at local businesses, which in turn will provide special offers for the kamaʻaina.

Last week, Victorino ordered the opening of some limited-use county parks, as well as golf courses. The latest county rules and the list of open parks are available at Mauicounty.gov. The state’s “safer at home” ordering rules are at governor.hawaii.gov. As of noon on May 6, there had been a total of 626 cases in the state. Seventeen died from COVID-19, 558 were released from isolation and 74 had to be hospitalized. In Maui County, there have been 116 cases in total, with 6 deaths, 17 requiring hospitalization and 93 released from isolation. The latest data and guidelines from the state Department of Health are available at Hawaïcovid19.com.

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