On, April 21, 2020 at 1:20 PM HST, HONOLULU, Hawaii, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced he is extending the city’s stay-at-home order through May 31. He mentioned that he will be gradually lifting restrictions starting with reopening city parks on Saturday for limited exercise activities.
“We’re taking the first steps to actually get our Oahu residents back to work…But to do it in a way that we don’t have to retreat again,” Caldwell said.
The phased-in reopening will happen with a ramping up of numerous testing to ensure new COVID-19 cases are identified quickly and isolated.
Additionally, the city will be purchasing 10,000 coronavirus test kits and delivering them to community health centers for free. The centers will also be provided with more protective gear.
Meanwhile, the governor has said he’s also working with mayors on how to allow businesses, schools, and perhaps trickiest, the tourist industry, to resume operations.
HMSA CEO Dr. Mark Mugiishi, an adviser to the governor, said at a legislative briefing Monday that Hawaii was about a month away from having the systems in place needed to begin restarting the economy in phases.
Those systems include the ability to conduct screening, test people who might have the virus and tracing people that came into contact with the carriers, as well as isolating infected people.
Here’s how the park reopening will happen:
Oahu’s 300 city parks will reopen for exercise on Saturday at 5 a.m. They will only be open for running, walking, or biking. No group exercises. However, gatherings will continue to be banned. Pools will also continue to be closed, and Hanauma Bay is remaining closed.
“People have been cooped up. They feel anxious,” Mayor Kirk Caldwell said. “If they could see some light at the end of the tunnel, go into our beautiful parks and exercise, it will make a tremendous difference.”
With that, Caldwell mentioned that additional restrictions could be lifted in the coming weeks.
For more information, please click this link here: Oahu Extended Stay-at-Home Order
By Sadie Fetui
Kala Staff Writer