Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Ige issues supplemental emergency proclamation activating National Guard, suspending Sunshine Law, addressing price gouging; first community-spread COVID-19 identified; parks and memorials close; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

screen grab of livestreamed press conference
Gov. David Ige, HEMA Director Ken Hara, March 16, 2020 screengrab
Hawaii Sees 1st Community Virus Case As Numbers Rise, Legislature Suspends Session. At a press conference, Ige said shipments of goods are proceeding as usual and urged residents not to hoard supplies -- and merchants not to price-gouge; a supplemental emergency proclamation signed by the governor and his original proclamation allow the state to take action in such situations. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii waiving waiting period for jobless claims, activating National Guard in response to coronavirus concerns. Gov. David Ige announced today several measures the state is taking to address the COVID-19 situation in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 supplemental emergency proclamation eliminates unemployment insurance waiting period, suspends state Sunshine Law. Gov. David Ige said today he’s signed a supplemental emergency proclamation on the COVID-19 coronavirus “to preserve the health, safety and welfare of the people of Hawaii.” The proclamation is effective until May 15. Tribune-Herald.

On Edge Of COVID-19 Community Spread, Governor Issues New Proclamation. Governor Ige also announced that he has appointed Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency director Ken Hara to be the incident commander. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii’s first community-spread coronavirus case confirmed; 25 family members and contacts tested. The number of coronavirus cases in Hawaii is climbing with 10 people now having tested positive, including a Kualoa Ranch tour guide with no recent travel history and a Kapiolani hospital staffer. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i Coronavirus Total 10: New Cases Include 2 O‘ahu Residents, 1 Maui Visitor. The Department of Health (DOH) is monitoring all of these individuals and supervising their isolation as well as the self-quarantine of their family members. Maui Now.

Ige suspends public meetings and records laws as part of response. Gov. David Ige has suspended the state laws that require that government agencies meet in public and that government records be made public as part of the administration’s emergency response to the spread of COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Ige issues supplemental emergency proclamation to fight COVID-19. It addresses topics like unemployment, hoarding and price gouging. KITV4.

Full text of Ige's supplemental emergency proclamation can be found here.


Hawaii Legislature To Suspend Session Amid Coronavirus Fears. Lawmakers will reconvene only in an emergency situation. In the meantime, many legislators and staff will continue to work in their offices. Civil Beat.

Hawaii State House, Senate Go Into Recess Due To COVID-19. Senate President Ronald Kouchi and House Speaker Scott Saiki held a press conference on Monday afternoon to discuss the suspension of the 2020 Legislative Session. Big Island Video News.

Hawaiʻi State Legislature Shuts Down Amid COVID-19 Outbreak. The State Legislature is on a temporary, but indefinite, hiatus starting immediately. Big Island Now.


Hawaii’s public libraries remain open for now. With schools shut for two weeks, Hawaii’s 51 public libraries remained a haven for local residents Monday, but it isn’t clear how long that will last. Star-Advertiser.

State DOE continues development of COVID-19 response plan. The state Department of Education continues to develop its COVID-19 response plan. Tribune-Herald.

Jury out on whether summer will tamp down coronavirus. Most respiratory viruses are seasonal, with outbreaks in the fall, winter and spring that diminish when weather turns warmer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Star-Advertiser.

Go online to file unemployment claims, Hawaii officials say. Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations officials say they are “strongly suggesting” that people file for unemployment benefits by using their website. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Democrats Still Figuring Out What To Do About The Primary. The coronavirus may upend plans for the April 4 election, which has already received 20,000 mail-in ballots. Civil Beat.

Think you need a coronavirus test? Here’s what you need to do. Public health officials stress that a coronavirus test isn’t appropriate for everyone. But if you think you need one, here’s what you should do. Hawaii News Now.

Tourism reels as containment prompts further declines. If Americans follow recommendations issued Monday by the White House to halt the spread of COVID-19, Hawaii’s declining visitor industry will shrink even more — perhaps to proportions that cause greater negative economic impacts than 9/11. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Senate passes bill to ban foreigner home purchases. A bill to prohibit foreigners from buying older homes in Hawaii was unanimously endorsed this month by state senators in an effort to make housing less pricey for local people. However, the proposed ban has drawn questions about its effectiveness and constitutionality if it becomes law. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Closes Facilities, Cancels Events As Coronavirus Spreads. As the number of Hawaii’s coronavirus cases hit 10, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday ordered the shuttering of indoor city facilities, banned events of more than 50 people on city property and urged private businesses to follow suit. Civil Beat.

State and city officials halt meetings and close facilities. With what Gov. David Ige described as the first signs of “the edge of community spread” of the coronavirus in Hawaii, government officials at the state and city levels took a series of unprecedented steps Monday to try to slow the outbreak’s speed here. Star-Advertiser.

City cancels large gatherings, closes Blaisdell Center and Hanauma Bay. The mayor has canceled all large gatherings on city property following confirmation of Oahu’s first community-transmitted case of coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu closes its indoor facilities and prohibits events larger than 50 people. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announces new measure to curb the spread of coronavirus in the community by cancelling events larger than 50 people and shutting the doors of indoor facilities owned by the city through the end of April. KHON2.

Pearl Harbor National Memorial, one of Oahu’s most-visited spots, is closed.  Pearl Harbor National Memorial has closed as part of a growing push to prevent the spread of coronavirus by limiting large crowds. Hawaii News Now.

USS Arizona Memorial closes due to coronavirus outbreak. The USS Arizona Memorial, one of the most popular and revered tourist destinations in the state, has closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.


Sentencing of Kealohas postponed as courts respond to COVID-19. On the eve of sentencing hearings for Katherine and Louis Kealoha, the U.S. District Court postponed the proceedings to a date “to be determined” — a move attributed to the state of emergency surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

Sentencing Postponed, Katherine Kealoha Resigns As Attorney. The Hawaii Supreme Court granted the former deputy prosecutor’s request to step down as she awaits sentencing. Civil Beat.

Kualoa Ranch tour guide diagnosed with coronavirus is ‘improving’. Health care providers are coming to the ranch Tuesday to test employees on-site. Hawaii News Now.

Closures, cancellations and suspensions due to coronavirus. A cascade of cancellations and closures continued Monday in Hawaii in response to the new coronavirus outbreak. Here’s a partial list of closings, cancellations and postponements announced Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Isle restaurants in survival mode and scrambling to avoid closure. One of Oahu’s highest-profile restaurant owners, Ed Kenney, is closing his Kaimuki restaurants — Town, Mud Hen Water and Kaimuki Superette — plus his catering company, UPtown Events, indefinitely. Star-Advertiser.

Condo ‘Disaster’: Waikiki Maintenance Fees Hit $1,800. Maintenance fees more than doubled in the last five years at the Waikiki Marina tower as the board has struggled with how to cover major repairs, especially a faulty elevator. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Kim doesn’t want to shut county down: Mayor, Civil Defense brief council members in closed meetings. Mayor Harry Kim doesn’t want to shut the county down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying instead he’s promoting a community effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus on the island. West Hawaii Today.


Cruise ship’s arrival in Hilo nixed amid virus concerns. A cruise ship that had a reservation to stop at Hilo Harbor later this week will be docking elsewhere. Tribune-Herald.

Maasdam Cruise Ship Will Not Arrive In Hilo, DOT Says. The Holland America Line ship had a port call for Hilo, however that reservation has been canceled. Big Island Video News.

Cruise Ship Bound for Hilo Rerouted to Honolulu. A Holland America cruise liner that was en route to Hilo is now headed for the port of Honolulu instead. Big Island Now.


TMT cost is estimated to soar by a billion dollars. The price tag of the stalled Thirty Meter Telescope has ballooned to $2.4 billion, while the final decision about where to build it might come within a few months. Star-Advertiser.


Flight attendant is Maui’s first case of COVID-19. Canadian woman self-isolated at Lahaina hotel while awaiting coronavirus test result. Maui News.

List of What’s Canceled, Closed or Postponed on Maui. Maui businesses, organizations and services are taking preventative measures amid growing efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Maui Now.

Haleakalā National Park Temporary Closures Begin March 17. The Summit District of Haleakalā National Park will be closed daily from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. All Sunrise Reservations are canceled until further notice. Maui Now.


Changes in county services. The County of Kaua‘i announces the following County-related postponements, cancelations, and changes in Standard Operating Procedures in order to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the people of Kaua‘i from the potential spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Garden Island.

Call ahead, take out. Restaurateurs on Kaua‘i are removing chairs from their dining rooms and relying heavily on delivery and takeout options as health officials continue to stress social distancing as the primary way to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Garden Island.


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