Four new infections were confirmed by the Department of Health on Tuesday, including three on Oahu and one Hawaii resident on the mainland, but more businesses will get the green light to reopen this week due to the dwindling number of new infections over the past two weeks.

Statewide, three new recoveries were reported on Tuesday. A total of 551 people have recovered enough to be released from isolation — nearly 90% of everyone diagnosed to date.

A new proclamation by Gov. David Ige finalized Tuesday evening will allow another cohort of businesses — including shopping malls and retail businesses — to reopen this month. Social distancing guidelines will still be in effect.

The 7th emergency proclamation is called a “Safer-At-Home” order and includes licensed child care facilities among the businesses allowed to reopen. Earlier Tuesday morning at a press conference, Ige had said child care facilities weren’t among the nonprofits that would be allowed to reopen, but that was prior to the issuance of the proclamation.

Ala Moana Shopping Center. Tiffany & Co. closed due to Coronavirus concerns on March 18, 2020.
Shopping centers are among a select number of businesses that will be allowed to reopen on Thursday, according to the latest proclamation by Gov. David Ige. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

Ige said the state is considering other measures that would allow the current 14-day mandatory quarantine for travelers to be dropped for inter-island, domestic, and international travelers but no plans have been finalized.

If Hawaii sees another surge in COVID-19 infections, certain restrictions could be put back in place, Ige said.

“We do have a framework of health metrics that includes rate of transmission, the number of cases we’re seeing and the metrics of the health care system — the utilization of hospitals’ ICU beds as well as ventilators. We will be publishing those guidelines in the next few days,” Ige said.

Oahu’s cumulative case count reached 404, and three new recoveries were reported, bringing the total to 377. No new hospitalizations were reported for Oahu, where 53 people have been hospitalized to date, and another 11 people have died. Oahu’s count includes three new cases and one that had been formerly attributed to Hawaii County.

Hawaii County’s cumulative infection count was 74 as of Tuesday. Sixty-two of those diagnosed with COVID-19 on the Big Island are now in recovery and one is hospitalized.

No new cases have been reported for weeks in Kauai County, where a total of 21 people have been diagnosed to date. The one person who required hospitalization on Kauai recovered and has been released.

The number of new COVID-19 infections in Hawaii has dropped significantly since March. Department of Health

Maui County’s cumulative case count remained at 116 on Tuesday, including one Lanai resident who was exposed on Maui and has not returned to Lanai since. Ninety-two people on Maui have recovered and 17 have required hospitalization. Six people have died on Maui.

Across the islands, 73 people have been hospitalized to date, including some Hawaii residents hospitalized out of state. Patients who do not require hospitalization recuperate at home in isolation and only qualify to be released when at least 14 days of quarantine have passed and their symptoms have subsided.

The state has registered 17 deaths since March.

Those not under mandatory quarantine are allowed to exercise on beaches and at some public parks if they abide by six-foot social distancing guidelines.

Ige encouraged residents to continue wearing cloth masks in public and not congregate at public parks and beaches, where exercise is still permitted.

Places of worship must remain closed, Ige said.

Support Civil Beat during the season of giving.

As a small nonprofit newsroom, our mission is powered by readers like you. But did you know that less than 1% of readers donate to Civil Beat?

Give today and support local journalism that helps to inform, empower and connect.

About the Author