Thursday, December 30, 2021

Hawaii shortens quarantine times, braces for holiday coronavirus surge, Maui postpones plastic takeout ban, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Department of Health

Hawaii shortens COVID isolation rules. The Hawaii Department of Health on Wednesday cut the state’s COVID-19 isolation and quarantine time requirements in half to align with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Char ‘very concerned’ about New Year’s celebrations.
The state’s health director said Wednesday she’s “very concerned about New Year’s” celebrations and hopes people will act accordingly to minimize the risk of spreading novel coronavirus infections. Tribune-Herald.

Tourism continues rebound
: But uncertainty remains due to omicron concerns. Despite stronger than expected visitor numbers in 2021, state officials on Wednesday said 2022’s tourism outlook is hazy. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii labor department reports 7 workplace fatalities in 2021. A total of 23 “major incidents” unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic were reported to DLIR in 2021, many of them involving unsafe conditions that resulted in amputations, bone fractures, dislocated shoulders and joints, and electrical burns, among other injuries, the agency said. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii records 3 new coronavirus-related deaths, 1,561 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 1,322 new cases on Oahu, 26 on Hawaii Island, 134 on Maui, 58 on Kauai, 12 on Molokai, two on Lanai and seven Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Defiant Honolulu Mayor Defends His Approach To Omicron Surge
. Mayor Rick Blangiardi said businesses know what to do to limit Covid-19 spread and don’t require further restrictions, despite admonishments from the state Department of Health. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Navy Argues Health Department Lacks Power To Shut Down Red Hill. The Navy’s filing makes clear it is not going to drain the Red Hill fuel tanks without a fight. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Navy Says Military Families Displaced By Water Crisis May Return Home Next Week. The Navy told lawmakers it will not meet a Jan. 3 deadline to come up with a plan for decontaminating its drinking water well. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

A Boom In Illicit Fireworks Is Rattling Honolulu Pets And Annoying Residents
. Honolulu banned fireworks except firecrackers on all but a few days a year in 2011, but it’s become “one of those laws no one enforces.” Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

County expects today will have highest daily case count since the start of the pandemic
. So far, the highest official tally of new cases in a single day on the island is 206, a record set during the delta surge earlier this year. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.

Better late than never? 23 years later, property owners seek sewer fee refund. After paying their two sewer bills for more than two decades, owners of two contiguous lots on Alii Drive are arguing they should have had to pay only one sewer bill because the structure on one of the lots is an outbuilding, not an unoccupied unit as defined by the county. West Hawaii Today.

Six HOPE Services Affordable Housing Units Move to Pāhoa. The units, which were constructed at HPM’s Ke‘eau factory, will comprise the Sacred Heart Affordable Housing Project, which will also offer supportive services. The remaining six homes are scheduled to arrive at the site by the end of this week. Big Island Now.


Maui postpones disposable plastic foodware ban due to supply shortages. Maui Mayor Mike Victorino said he is postponing the county’s ban on disposable plastic foodware by three months due to supply shortages. Victorino said supply chain disruptions have delayed shipping of compostable alternatives for businesses to implement the new ordinance. Hawaii News Now.

Hundreds wait for hours for free take-home test from County of Maui.
With some people waiting about three hours, hundreds of vehicles spilled out of War Memorial Gymnasium as people grabbed free COVID-19 test kits being distributed by County of Maui staff in Wailuku on Wednesday afternoon. Maui Now.

Maui Health updates visitor policy amid “rapid rise” in COVID-19 cases. Maui Health’s Emergency Operations Center team is updating its visitor policy effective today, due to the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases in the community. Maui Now.

State’s $11M beach restoration project awaits final approval. While mitigating the impacts of rising water levels and coastal erosion in West Maui is crucial, a proposed $11 million project awaiting final approvals and permitting to begin beach restoration next year is just “a temporary solution” and might not be the best use of taxpayer money, a West Maui official said. Maui News.


No Kuhio Highway contraflow until new year.
Contraflow on Kuhio Highway is canceled through Saturday, Jan. 1, according to the state Department of Transportation. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i Bus has new pass designs.
The new passes will have a different color each month, and will contain a QR code to link riders to The Kaua‘i Bus website,, where riders can get live tracking information on bus-arrival times. Garden Island.

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