The Latest Developments: On Monday, state and city government officials took unprecedented measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, following reports that the latest case was confirmed in a Kualoa Ranch employee.

City facilities will close through the end of April, and events with more than 50 people on city property are prohibited. Hanauma Bay is closing, but other outdoor facilities like beach parks will stay open. Gov. David Ige extended the Hawaii state of emergency to May 15, and said the week-long wait period for unemployment insurance will be waived for applicants.

Kenneth Hara, director of Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, is helping oversee federal emergency response in the islands. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

The Hawaii National Guard is ready to deploy for emergency support if needed, said Kenneth Hara, who holds dual roles as the director of Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Defense Adjutant General for the State of Hawaii.

Coronavirus testing opportunities have expanded: For those who are experiencing symptoms like fever, cough, and shortness of breath and who want to get tested, there are now 40 sites across the islands to get tested. But only those with a physician referral will qualify.

Meanwhile, public school students get another week of spring break.

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

Although you mentioned how long the virus can stay on copper, cardboard, plastic and steel, how long can the virus stay on clothing (since it is suggested to sneeze/cough in your arm sleeve, inside coat jacket, etc.)? 

It’s more likely that the virus will survive on hard surfaces rather than clothing, according to Harvard Health. But towels and clothes can spread and harbor germs. Wash them regularly in warm or hot water. Handling clothes properly is most important for caregivers of those who are ill. The CDC recommends wearing gloves when handling dirty clothes, using the warmest water settings appropriate, and washing your hands again after removing gloves.

One reader asked about the safety of swimming in chlorinated pools during the COVID-19 pandemic. Blaze Lovell/CivilBeat/2020

Would a dip in a properly chlorinated pool kill this virus on the skin?
Harvard University researchers say the virus won’t survive in properly treated pool water. So feel free to head to the pool, but avoid close contact with other people.

Regarding the ocean, there is little information about COVID-19’s ability to survive in salt water, according to the Surfrider Foundation. Sand and ocean water are known to harbor a lot of bacteria, but you’d most likely be at higher risk for catching COVID-19 if you interact with other infected beachgoers.

Children may not have symptoms if they become infected with COVID-19, and seniors with health complications may have to make the hard decision of distancing themselves from their grandchildren. April Estrellon/Civil Beat/2020

Should I curtail babysitting school-aged grandchildren?
Because children may be infected without showing symptoms, you may want to consider limiting your interactions with them, unfortunately.

If you are older and you have chronic health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or lung disease, you are at a high risk and should keep your distance. If your family is able to, looking into alternatives for child care is likely the safest option, according to Harvard Health.

Daniel K Inouye International Airport group arrival area is empty. Usually at 10am, there are many Japanese visitors coming thru this area.
Many people are avoiding air travel, even inter-island. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

Is it OK to travel to neighbor islands? What about the mainland?
Hawaii currently has a 14-day mandatory travel quarantine in place for inter-island travel. For travel outside of Hawaii, check this website daily for the latest travel advisories from the CDC, as they continue to change. If you are sick, do not get on a plane. Most airlines are offering waived change fees during this international crisis.

Check this website daily for the latest travel advisories from the CDC, as they continue to change. If you are sick, do not get on a plane. Most airlines are offering waived change fees during this international crisis.

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:

• “No movies, no concerts, even cancelled a birthday dinner at stripsteak. Not planning to go out unless necessary.”

• “I run a solo mental health practice, and I am attempting to move all my clients to telehealth — unfortunately, only HMSA has a platform.”

We have plenty 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.)

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