Stay At Home, Work From Home Extended for O‘ahu Until September 24
Honolulu’s emergency order set to expire this Thursday will last another two weeks, though some new solo activities will be allowed.
Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino
Hope you weren’t planning to go to Auntie’s house this weekend, because on Tuesday, Sept. 8, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced what we were all expecting: The current lockdown has been extended for two more weeks. But on the bright side, some activities that went from hobbies to essential activities to prohibited are now back on the table (try to keep up).
Parks and beaches will be allowed to reopen for solo activities, such as walking, eating lunch, reading, meditating, tanning or exercising. Community gardens will also reopen for people to attend to their individual plots. Hiking is once again permitted, but you’re not allowed to go with a buddy, even from your own household, so for safety reasons you might not wanna risk it. Caldwell says this makes it easier to enforce the rules since, when HPD officers see a group, they don’t know if they’re all from the same house or not. Gatherings of any size remain off-limits, even at home. “It’s not about playing games with the virus,” he says.
SEE ALSO: A COVID-19 Timeline: How Honolulu Got To This Point
The announcement comes on the day with the lowest cases since early August: 66, 58 of which are on O‘ahu. Hawai‘i has had more than 10,000 positive cases since March. The focus now is on reopening slower than last time to avoid another spike, being cautious, conservative and careful, Caldwell says. “We don’t want a repeat.”
Nonessential businesses remain closed. Caldwell says there will be an announcement later this week or early next week about what else the city will be doing to help local small businesses, though his priority is controlling the virus, with at least a seven-day average of decreased cases, before reopening. “When you don’t have a healthy community, you don’t have a healthy economy,” he says.
Free surge testing continues daily through Sept. 14.
READ MORE STORIES BY KATRINA VALCOURT