The Latest Developments: As of noon Wednesday, there were a total of 16 cases confirmed or presumed to be COVID-19 in Hawaii. The two latest cases include Oahu residents who traveled outside of the islands.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed an order mandating restaurants, bars and clubs on Oahu to only service takeout orders, while also closing all city parks and other facilities such as the Neil S. Blaisdell Center and the Honolulu Zoo.

His counterpart on Kauai, Mayor Derek Kawakami, went a step further, ordering a night-time curfew for the whole island beginning Friday. He also urged tourism businesses to stop marketing the Garden Island as a travel destination for now.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell puts on a short presentation on Coronavirus/ COVID19 and the need for people to not to gather more than 10 people. Caldwell later signed a proclamation closing bars, restaurants and nightclubs starting on march 20, 2020 at 830pm. Restaurants/bars are allowed to have takeout food and delivery

Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed an order Tuesday mandating that bars and restaurants serve only takeout starting Friday, with no indoor seating allowed.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Meanwhile, the Hawaii Community Foundation has created a $2.5 million fund — including $1 million from the Omidyar Ohana Fund and $500,000 from the Stupski Foundation —  to aid public health organizations and other local nonprofits that are trying to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. The money will be used to support health care workers, expand testing and screening, and provide those who are quarantined with home visits and food deliveries.

Aloha Stadium suspended its operations through May 14, postponing events like the Hawaiian Supercross motorcycle competition.

As Hawaii continues to adjust to the potential for a larger epidemic, China reported some good news: for the first time since COVID-19 surfaced in December, on Tuesday Chinese officials reported there were no new local infections.

Meanwhile, the federal government is tapping into military medical resources: two U.S. Navy hospital ships will deploy to help non-COVID patients on the east and west coasts so hospitals may focus on coronavirus care.

Questions And Answers: Here are more answers Civil Beat found in response to concerns you sent us.

Is it OK to take ibuprofen? 

Infectious disease experts at the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control say it is fine to take ibuprofen and there is no evidence that suggests otherwise. The concern over ibuprofen exploded after the French health minister tweeted some advice to use Tylenol instead, but public health officials were disapproving of his move which was based on limited data, NPR reports.

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, more research is needed.

“Currently, there is no evidence that ibuprofen increases the risk of serious complications or of acquiring the virus that causes COVID-19,” he said.

Both paracetamol and ibuprofen help to relieve fevers and flu symptoms, but they may not be suitable for all patients depending on existing health conditions. Ask your doctor.

How long do you think we’ll have to keep up this social distancing thing?

It could be months. Government officials are recommending people limit their social activity because it’s the best chance we have to prevent transmission of the coronavirus and overwhelming hospitals, especially because there is no treatment yet.

Here are some ways to ensure you’re implementing “social distancing” properly.

How The Coronavirus Has Changed Your Behavior: We also asked people what they’ve been doing differently since hearing about the virus. Here are a few things they’ve told us:

  • “I already was hyper-vigilant, especially during travel, using wipes on all surfaces, including menus and Ketchup bottles. This last trip I used gloves, for handling produce in grocery stores, using the grocery carts which I also wipe down! What is nice is many stores offer Purell or wipes at the front door. Would like to see them in libraries and schools, and public restrooms as option to washing.”
  • “ I made a mixture of alcohol with a few drops of organic lavender essential oil that I carry with me in a small spray bottle to sanitize my hands regularly.” 
  • “Food shopping late at night, using bleach wipes to touch handles in public spaces.”

We have many more questions to answer so stay tuned for similar posts each day. Meanwhile, use the form below to ask us anything and tell us what, if anything, you’re doing differently to avoid getting sick.

Coronavirus Survey

Please fill out this form to let us know your most pressing questions about COVID-19 and any practices or changes in lifestyle you've made because of it.
  • (We won't publish any responses without your permission.)

Before you go . . .

Everyone at Civil Beat feels the weight of heightened responsibility. For the past several months our nonprofit newsroom has worked beyond our normal capacity to provide accurate information, push for accountability, amplify smart ideas and new voices, and double down on facts and context to write deeply reported local stories.

The truth is, our evolution as a public service news organization over the past 10 years has prepared us for this moment in time, when what we do matters the most.

Reader support keeps our small newsroom afloat. If you value the work of our journalists, please consider making a tax-deductible gift.

About the Author