Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Caldwell extends Oahu lock-down, but opens parks; Kim mandates masks on Hawaii Island; Victorino defies state beach ban on Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaiian Airlines flight at Honolulu airport ©2020 All Hawaii News
On average, more than 125 visitors fly to Hawaii every day despite coronavirus quarantine. The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported today that 444 trans-Pacific passengers arrived on Monday, including 111 visitors and 151 residents. Star-Advertiser.

The visitor industry showed signs of deterioration before hotels began to close. The rapid deterioration of Hawaii’s hotel industry in the wake of COVID-19 lockdowns began to hit its stride in March, with occupancy plummeting by at least 37% across every island. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers looking to diversify Hawaii’s economy away from tourism. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major hit to the tourism industry and businesses that rely on it. KHON2.


State reports just 2 additional coronavirus cases but 2 more deaths. The number of identified coronavirus cases in Hawaii inched upward to 586 Tuesday based on two new positive test results, while the number of COVID-19 deaths in the state reached 12. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s COVID-19 Death Toll Reaches 12. Two men over the age of 65 died late Monday evening due to coronavirus complications. Civil Beat.

State reports 2 new COVID-19 fatalities, bringing Hawaii’s death toll to 12. The state is reporting two more COVID-19 fatalities in Hawaii, in a grim reminder that while the daily case count from the disease is on the decline many remain very ill. Hawaii News Now.


She’s Running Hawaii’s Virus Response. But Should We Trust Her? Here’s a deeper look at State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park, why she’s made certain decisions and why some medical professionals think she’s wrong. Civil Beat.


Report: Dramatic cuts to state worker pay would hurt Hawaii’s already-ailing economy. University of Hawaii researchers are warning proposed pay cuts of up to 20% for state workers could hurt the state’s already-ailing economy. Hawaii News Now.

Public worker union urges Ige to borrow from feds instead of cutting workers’ pay. The head of the state’s largest public worker union is urging Gov. David Ige to borrow money from the federal government if necessary to avoid deep pay cuts for public workers, and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said Tuesday he also wants to explore the borrowing option to help close a $1.5 billion state budget shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Governor David Ige Address To State Employees. The governor posted a video address aimed at state employees, in which he thanks everyone for their efforts, and said no decisions have been made regarding salary reductions. Big Island Video News.


Hawaii unemployment checks, except for gig workers, will include extra $600 federal weekly payment starting Wednesday. So far more than 244,000 Hawaii filings have been made in the wake of COVID-19. That’s overwhelmed the antiquated system and created lengthy waits. Some Hawaii applicants fear the money will run out before they get what’s owed to them. Star-Advertiser.

State labor director gives update on unemployment system, benefits. Hawaii workers already receiving unemployment benefits because of the COVID-19 pandemic should start receiving their $600 weekly “plus-up” payments in addition to their regular claim payments starting today. Tribune-Herald.

Stay at home extension will stress unemployment funds, but federal assistance is on the way. With the City and County of Honolulu’s stay at home order extended until at least May 31st, many of the state’s over 240,000 unemployed or partially unemployed residents are going to continue to need benefits from the state and federal government. KHON2.


Experts Warn Against Using Antibody Tests As It Becomes Available In Hawaii. Antibody tests may be the key to learning how far COVID-19 has spread in Hawaii, and to getting people back to work. However, the state Department of Health doesn’t think the currently available tests are reliable. Hawaii Public Radio.

Our DC Delegation At Home: Cooking, Yardwork, Surfing And Politics. Each member of Hawaii’s federal delegation has taken on a different role as the federal government struggles to respond to the growing coronavirus pandemic. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines brings in 1.6 million face masks. A Hawaiian Airlines passenger plane whose 3,920-cubic-foot belly was filled with protective masks for Hawaii’s people has landed. Star-Advertiser.

Earth Day turns 50. Both Earth Day and the Clean Air Act turn 50 years old today, and American Lung Association marked the occasion by releasing their annual State of the Air report, which gives states and counties a letter grade on air quality. Garden Island.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell reopening city parks for exercise, extending Honolulu stay-at-home order. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Tuesday that he is extending Oahu’s stay-at-home, work-from-home order “with modifications” through May and is reopening city parks — for exercise only — beginning at 5 a.m. Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

Caldwell Extends Oahu Stay At Home Order To May 31. The city also wants to ramp up its testing capacity by providing community health centers with more test kits. Civil Beat.

O‘ahu Extends Mandatory Lockdown Through May. Honolulu County Mayor Kirk Caldwell will extend O‘ahu’s shelter-in-place order through May 31, he announced at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. Big Island Now.

City extends stay-at-home order through May 31, but will reopen parks for exercise. Mayor Kirk Caldwell is extending the city’s stay-at-home order through May 31, but says city parks will reopen Saturday for limited exercise activities. Hawaii News Now.

All 300 Oahu city parks to reopen on Saturday for exercise only. Users are allowed to walk, jog, run or bike, but no gathering. KITV4.


Honolulu police arrest 91 in connection with coronavirus emergency violations. Honolulu police have issued 7,801 warnings and 3,010 citations to date for violations of the emergency order for the coronavirus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

Tourists' IG posts get them busted for breaking 14-day quarantine. Frustrated Hawaii residents are turning to social media to identify and report people violating COVID-19 restrictions and bragging about it on social media. KITV4.

Visitors Arrested On Oahu For Violating Quarantine. Two visitors staying in Waikiki were arrested Tuesday morning for violating the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for all travelers, according to the COVID-19 Joint Information Center. Civil Beat.

Two visitors arrested in Waikiki for violating coronavirus self-quarantine. A 34-year-old woman from Las Vegas and a 33-year-old man from Sydney, Australia were arrested Tuesday morning for violating the emergency rules put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Visitors arrested for violating emergency rules on Oahu. Four more visitors were arrested this morning on Oahu for violating emergency rules. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Kim’s new mask rule more strict than governor’s proclamation. A new emergency rule announced by Mayor Harry Kim requires essential businesses to refuse service to customers who do not wear face masks or coverings. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island Mayor Harry Kim issues strict rules in response to coronavirus. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim today issued a new emergency rule mandating that all customers age 5 and older wear face masks or coverings before entering essential businesses or riding the bus, among other requirements. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kim Issues New Rule Mandating Face Masks At Businesses. Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim on Tuesday signed a new emergency rule (No. 3) that mandates face masks at businesses, discourages hoarding of essentials, and details how employees must take action if they experience symptoms of illness. Big Island Video News.

Kim Institutes Strict Face Mask, Hand Sanitizing Policies on Big Island. Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim bolstered a state mandate to wear face masks in public with a county Rule of his own. Big Island Now.


Prolonged rainfall triggered Kilauea eruption, study finds. It was excessive and prolonged rainfall that triggered the 2018 eruption of Kilauea Volcano, according to new research due out today. Star-Advertiser.

FEMA Awards $61 Million To Rebuild Lava Covered Roads In Puna. Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz today announced that Hawaiʻi County will be able to use the money to repair roads damaged during the 2018 Kilauea eruption. Big Island Video News.


Higa announces mayoral bid: Former County Council chairman and public TV CEO says strong leadership needed. Former County Council Chairman Stacy Higa is throwing his hat into an increasingly crowded ring for mayor. West Hawaii Today.

Kona roller derby team members raise funds, purchase 1,000 N95 masks for health care workers. Members of the Echo City Knockouts Roller Derby Team are ready to make their first donation of 1,000 N95 masks to Big Island health facilities. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Mayor: Police Will Not Issue Citations for Walking or Running on Maui Beaches. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino said he will not be issuing citations for people that run or walk on the beach because there is no clear delineation on what’s a state beach and what’s a county beach. Maui Now.

Despite state order, Maui’s mayor tells his residents it’s OK to exercise on the beach. Maui County’s mayor said Tuesday that exercising on the beach is fine with him, and police in his jurisdiction won’t cite anyone walking or running on the sand. Hawaii News Now.


Maui Memorial works to improve communication, safety policies amid cluster of cases. To some longtime staff members at Maui Memorial Medical Center, the April 6 revelation that at least 15 employees had tested positive for COVID-19 — and the maelstrom of controversy and recrimination that followed — was as predictable as it was distressing. Star-Advertiser.

New Maui COVID-19 death is first tied to hospital outbreak; two more new cases in Maui County. State health officials said this morning that there were two more coronavirus deaths reported late Monday, one on Oahu and one on Maui, and that the Maui fatality is linked to the hospital’s outbreak. Maui News.


Kaua'i County mayor already working on plans to reopen the Garden Isle's economy. After just four positive coronavirus cases were confirmed Monday, many are wondering when our local economy might open back up. KITV4.

Ige declares Kauai disaster area after March flooding. Gov. David Ige has declared Kauai a disaster area following the flooding on the island late last month. Star-Advertiser.

Kahili Quarry Road closed. A large sinkhole around a culvert under Kahili Road has triggered the closure of the dirt road access to the north side of the Kilauea River, an area that local residents have taken under their wing by forming the Kahili Community Stewardship Area. Garden Island.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Hawaii not ready to reopen yet, residents chafe against beach restrictions, federal payments to hit unemployment checks, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Department of Health
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hawaii per state Department of Health
Gov. David Ige expects Hawaii stay-home order to be extended beyond April 30. Gov. David Ige said Monday that Hawaii’s stay-at-home order probably will be extended past April 30, but said the state is looking at loosening some local restrictions on specific activities such as delays in elective surgeries. Star-Advertiser.

Despite decline in new cases, Ige says he’s not ready to ease stay-at-home restrictions. Hawaii is reporting just four new COVID-19 cases on Monday ― in more strong evidence that the state’s stay-at-home order is working to stop the spread of the virus. But in a news conference, Gov. David Ige said Hawaii isn’t yet ready to begin re-opening its economy. Hawaii News Now.

Gov not looking to ease restrictions: ‘We are not there yet’. Despite the low number of new cases and high recovery rate, the governor is not poised to loosen the stay at home order which is set to expire at the end of the month. KHON2.

Gradual lifting of Hawaii’s lockdown could start in a month. Certain places in Hawaii closed to curtail COVID-19 could begin to reopen within a month. However, lifting restrictions that have crushed the state economy is expected to be a gradual process that takes place at different times for different parts of the state, establishments and industries. Star-Advertiser.

Plan To Reopen Hawaii Economy Presented. Alan Oshima, the state Economic Recovery and Resiliency Navigator, explained the framework for the plan to reopen the economy following the COVID-19 pandemic. Big Island Video News.

State Discusses ‘Soft Reopening’ as Unemployment Funds Dwindle. Hawai‘i may not begin reopening in May as initially planned, but discussions on what a reopening would look like are well underway. Big Island Now.

Governor COVID-19 Update: Including Economic Recovery & Resilience Plans. Oshima laid out a three-phase plan for reopening Hawai‘i’s economy. Phase 1 is stabilization – focus on stabilizing the number of COVID-19 cases. Phase 2 consists of reopening and recovery, which begins with gradual, sequenced reopening of normal activities; and Phase 3 is building a resilient economy with strong business and job growth. Maui Now.


Hawaii sees 2-month low of 4 new coronavirus cases, with none on Oahu. Hawaii has reached an apparent milestone in the coronavirus pandemic with just four new cases — the lowest daily increase in two months — and zero new infections on the most densely populated island, Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Reports 4 New COVID-19 Cases. On Monday, Oahu reported no new coronavirus cases for the first time since the virus appeared in the islands. Civil Beat.

Only 4 new Hawaii COVID-19 cases, including 2 new on Hawaii Island. Meanwhile, Gov. David Ige said Hawaii’s stay-at-home order will probably be extended past April 30 because the islands aren’t yet ready to relax restrictions put in place to control the spread of the coronavirus. West Hawaii Today.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green Gives Hawaii Situation Update. Lieutenant Governor Josh Green shared an encouraging message with the public on Monday concerning the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Hawaiʻi. Big Island Video News.

Beach restrictions prompt pushback from residents and confusion for mayors. Governor David Ige’s move to make beaches off-limits is getting some pushback. People are frustrated and confused, which includes at least two of Hawaii’s mayors. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii’s first $600 extra unemployment payments should go out Wednesday. The state is poised to send out the first of many thousands of weekly $600 “plus-up” unemployment payments to laid-off workers, according to Scott Murakami, director of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Star-Advertiser.

Those getting unemployment benefits in Hawaii start seeing extra $600 payments. Those receiving unemployment benefits in Hawaii are starting to see extra $600 payments, which were part of the federal relief package. The increase is a weekly payment from March 29 through the end of July — and it is retroactive. Hawaii News Now.

Volunteers step up to deal with avalanche of unemployment claims in Hawaii. Hundreds of state employees are volunteering to help process Hawaii’s crushing backlog of unemployment claims in hopes of speeding up checks to workers idled by COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.


Amid threats to supply chain, officials say Hawaii’s farmers need help. The executive director of the Hawaii Farm Bureau told lawmakers Monday both COVID-19 and the upcoming hurricane season present dual threats to the islands’ food supply. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii farmers may shut down due to hardships. Hawaii farmers are running out of money and could wind up shutting down, which would hurt our local food supply. KHON2.


COVID-19 Crisis Poses Risks For Hawaii’s Renewable Energy Plans. Even the most optimistic solar developer said extended disruptions to projects will have unavoidable consequences. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines to get $650M in federal aid to continue operating. Hawaiian Airlines says it’s getting more than $650 million in federal aid to keep operating. CEO Peter Ingram told a state legislative committee that federal authorities have approved $290 million in grants and loans to cover its payroll, and a low interest loan of $364 million for operations. Hawaii News Now.

Bank of Hawaii sets aside $33.6M for possible loan defaults amid coronavirus shutdown. Bank of Hawaii Corp. revealed Monday the first look at how COVID-19 is affecting local financial institutions. Star-Advertiser.

Tulsi Gabbard Still Has More Than $500,000 In Presidential Cash. Federal Election Commission reports show that the congresswoman still had lots of money left over in her bank account at the end of March. Civil Beat.


No walking or running on Oahu beaches. As of Monday, Honolulu Police Department officers had issued approximately 7,700 warnings and 2,800 citations for violations of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s emergency order of March 18 that closed city beach parks. Star-Advertiser.

Plans for walk-in COVID-19 testing for Oahu homeless scrapped. The city and state Department of Health are directing all coronavirus-related homeless cases to its CARES hotline 832-3100. KITV4.

HPD shifting from warnings to citations for violations of the emergency order. On Oahu, the Honolulu Police Department says it does not compare the number of new tickets issued each day, but there was a shift from warnings to citations about a week ago. As of Monday, officers issued about 7,700 warnings and 28-hundred citations for violations of the emergency order. KHON2.

Honolulu Fire Department acquires land for new Waialua station. After nearly a century the Waialua community will be gaining a new fire station. KITV4.

Kaimuki businesses convince city to postpone renovation of municipal parking lot. A major parking lot renovation in Kaimuki has been rescheduled for January 2021 after business owners — already struggling amid the pandemic — complained. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Cluster of cases associated with Kona fast-food eateries remains at 30. A total of 18 McDonald’s employees and 12 household members have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the first week of April, said Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson.  West Hawaii Today.


Victorino wants beach exercise to be allowed. Mayor reaching out to Ige to allow running, walking on beaches. Maui News.

Maui Brewing Co. under investigation by Maui liquor commission for hand sanitizer giveaways. Maui Brewing Co., which has donated more than 1,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to first responders and others since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, is being investigated by the Maui County Liquor Control Commission for giving away the product with purchase to customers. Star-Advertiser.

Liquor control investigating Maui Brewing Company for giving away sanitizer. A Maui company's good deed has led to an investigation. Maui Brewing Company has been making hand sanitizer to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Mayor Asking for Quick Resolution on Liquor Dept. Investigation into Sales with Free Hand Sanitizer. The Maui Liquor Department is reportedly investigating a complaint against the Maui Brewing Company for allegedly using the sales of products, in which patrons were reportedly given free hand sanitizer with purchase, Mayor Victorino said. Maui Now.


State rules in question. At 6 p.m. on Monday, a County of Kaua‘i spokesperson said they’ve pursued clarifications on that order and are awaiting response from the Governor’s office. Garden Island.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Hawaii beaches closed, masks mandated, evictions postponed as state's 10th COVID-19 death announced; counties struggle to draft budgets, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ala Moana beach park last year ©2020 All Hawaii News
With new restrictions, Hawaii’s shorelines are empty ... for the most part. With new rules in place further restricting people from gathering on sandy shorelines, beaches were fairly empty for a beautiful Saturday in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Ige's fifth emergency proclamation closes beaches, mandates face masks, places moratorium of evictions. Full text here.

Ige Issues Eviction Moratorium Through April 30. The order won’t prevent landlords from pursuing evictions starting May 1. Civil Beat.

After the state closed all beaches due to COVID-19, Hawaii County issued a list of limited openings for ocean access and restroom usage. Following Friday’s announcement that Govrnor David Ige has signed a fifth emergency supplementary proclamation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic closing all state beaches in Hawaiʻi in order to limit activities outside the home, Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim signed his own new set of rules for the Big Island. Big Island Video News.

Victorino to Ige: Reconsider beach exercise ban. There is more trouble in paradise as new statewide public health emergency rules banning beach exercise were awash with protest and confusion. Maui News.


Tourists using transient rentals to bypass Hawaii quarantine restrictions prove hard to track. COVID-19 crackdowns on transient vacation rentals, which aren’t considered essential businesses right now, are proving just as hard for the counties to enforce as the laws meant to regulate them. Star-Advertiser.


Man visiting from Washington becomes Hawaii’s 10th COVID-19 death. Maui County logged one new death Sunday, bringing the statewide death toll into the double digits. The DOH said 10 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported statewide — six on Oahu, four on Maui. Hawaii News Now.

Man hospitalized for COVID-19 at Maui Memorial dies, his death brings state total to 10. The 10th COVID-19-related death reported in the state was a man who was hospitalized at Maui Memorial Center. KHON2.

Hawaii health officials announce 10th COVID-19 death as statewide coronavirus cases rise to 580. Hawaii Department of Health officials reported the state’s tenth death from COVID-19 today, as the statewide tally of coronavirus cases rose by six to a total of 580. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i Confirms 10th Death Related to Coronavirus. Hawai‘i reported only six new cases of COVID-19 overnight, also registering the state’s 10th death as a result of infection. Big Island Now.

Maui sees Hawaii’s 10th death from virus. The Washington state man was in his 40s to 50s with no previous medical conditions and had a history of travel, the state Department of Health said Sunday. He had been in serious condition during a 21-day stay at the Maui Memorial Medical Center, where the state is investigating a cluster of COVID-19 cases at the island’s largest hospital. Star-Advertiser.

Fourth COVID-19 Related Death on Maui is Washington State Man With No Previous Medical Conditions. “The individual was an adult male from Washington state in the 40-59-year age group who had no previous medical conditions and a history of travel,” according to a press release issued by the state’s COVID-19 Joint Information Center. Maui Now.


Stimulus Checks Won't Cover Even A Month's Expenses in Hawaii. Eligible residents in Hawaii, and around the country, are starting to receive cash stimulus payments from the federal government. But the one-time $1200 checks won’t go far in Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tracing the Path Of COVID-19 In Hawaii — 1 Name At A Time. An understaffed health department is looking to hire more investigators to identify and isolate people who have been exposed to COVID-19. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Civil Rights Office Is Still Closed During A Time It’s Needed Most. The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission still accepts only paper filings and isn’t set up for remote work. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii researchers urge the state to step up its coronavirus response. A trio of University of Hawaii researchers is urging state officials to accelerate its public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, not only to save lives but to help restart the economy. Star-Advertiser.

Union leaders and state Legislators put out a call for hundreds of state worker volunteers to help tackle the massive backlog of unemployment claims. “The plan is have over a thousand people man that center over the next week-and-a-half," said House Speaker Scott Saiki.  Hawaii News Now.

What will Hawaii's "re-opening" look like? Director of Hawaii's Department of Health Dr. Bruce Anderson told KITV4 he believes Hawaii's re-opening could look like a gradual, "tiered" approach. KITV4.


Lockdown has gone too far, Hawaii protesters say. A caravan of about 50 vehicles Sunday traveled from the state Capitol to Costco in Kapolei to protest what participants consider governmental overreach in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

‘Open Hawaii’: A small group of protesters feel its time to ease up restrictions. Nearly two dozen people rallied in a rolling caravan Sunday, saying their rights are being violated by government mandates. Hawaii News Now.


COVID-19 is new pestilence for Hawaii farmers. Phyllis Shimabukuro- Geiser, director of the state Department of Agriculture, said recently that some farmers reported losing 50% to 60% of their market last month largely because of hotel and restaurant shutdowns. Star-Advertiser.

Running For Office During A Pandemic? It’s Tough For Newcomers. Some non-incumbents running for elective office in Hawaii are focused on public health as they also seek to gain political traction. Civil Beat.

Hawaii officials brace for ‘big surge’ of newly homeless from coronavirus shutdowns. Out of approximately 6,500 homeless people across all islands, only one so far has tested positive for the new coronavirus, but officials worry that an even bigger homeless problem could explode out of the financial devastation already hitting the state. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Inmates Still Packed Into Arizona Prison Despite Virus Concerns. The company that runs Saguaro Correctional Center says proper pandemic protocols are being followed. Civil Beat.

Things Are Not Good Between Hawaii Senators And The Governor. Tempers over the Ige administration’s slow response to the growing pandemic boiled over Friday at a special Senate committee hearing. Civil Beat.


Council advances bill to defer property tax for pandemic-stricken businesses. A bill that would allow coronavirus-impacted businesses to hold off paying their property taxes passed the Honolulu City Council’s first hurdle last week. Star-Advertiser.

Face mask mandate while in public goes into effect Monday for Honolulu. Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s mandate for all Honolulu residents to wear non-medical masks or face coverings while out in the public conducting business, will go into effect Monday, April 20, at midnight. KHON2.

With fewer cars on the roads, officials are pushing projects forward faster. Ed Sniffen, Hawaii Department of Transportation Deputy Director of Highways, tells us they are seeing about 48-percent less traffic on the freeways on Oahu. KHON2.

Rick Blangiardi Is Back On TV, But This Time He’s A Political Candidate. The former Hawaii News Now general manager is making his pitch to be mayor of Honolulu. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Property tax base protects county coffers. Hawaii County’s reliance on property taxes for its operations buffers it, at least in the short term, from the drastic tax losses experienced at the state level as it struggles to revive an economy clobbered by the coronavirus, local officials said Friday. West Hawaii Today.

Bright side to outbreak: Arrests are down 33%. It’s said crime doesn’t take a vacation, but because of the statewide emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the daily booking log at the police station is a lot shorter than usual. Tribune-Herald.

Air Travel Arrivals Down Sharply at KOA. Only one flight has touched down at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keāhole (KOA) over the last two days, according to numbers provided by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. Big Island Now.


Third McDonald’s In Kona Closes Due To COVID-19 Outbreak. The McDonald's restaurant located at 75-5729 Kuakini Highway is now closed, joining the McDonalds at Kona Commons and Walmart in a COVID-19 cluster-related shutdown. Big Island Video News.

Big Island McDonald’s COVID-19 cluster now up to 30 confirmed cases. The Hawaii Department of Health announced that the total number of confirmed cases linked to a cluster of cases among McDonald’s restaurants in Kailua-Kona has gone up. KHON2.


Fogging out the virus: County deploying disinfectant equipment to health care facilities. Hawaii County is taking charge of getting foggers to health care and county facilities in an effort to quash the spread of COVID-19 on the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.

New Emergency Shelter Construction Underway In Hilo. 32 shelters are going up at the County’s NAS Pool parking lot and will be ready for occupancy early next week, officials say. Big Island Video News.

Bill would allow county to acquire private roads. A Hawaii County Council committee will discuss this week whether the county should acquire private roads to improve traffic flow throughout the island. Tribune-Herald.


Finance director doesn’t support property tax forbearance. County Finance Director Scott Teruya said Friday that while Mayor Michael Victorino’s administration has not talked about forbearance for property taxes due to large-scale unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic, he would not recommend it. Maui News.

Checkpoints set up on Maui to limit people heading into Hana. Checkpoints are being set up to limit the number of people traveling into Hana and East Maui. Maui County said the checkpoints will be located after Twin Falls on Hana Highway and at Ulupalakua Ranch on Piilani Highway. Hawaii News Now.

Near ban on plastic disposable utensils OK’d. Measure, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2022, sent to mayor for signature. Maui News.


Kauai: This Island Has Been Holding Steady Against Coronavirus. What’s Up? County officials say Kauai imposed public restrictions quickly. But some residents think the government’s gone too far.  Civil Beat.

Organizing the houseless. Five county parks have been established as permitted sheltering zones for the Kaua‘i houseless community by Mayor Derek Kawakami as part of the effort to contain the novel coronavirus — Lucy Wright, Salt Pond, Lydgate, Anahola and Anini — and many of them are already established campsites with varying levels of community organization. Garden Island.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Hawaii doesn't meet federal criteria to reopen, RIMPAC 'ready to flex' anyway, 1/3 of residents on unemployment, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

RIMPAC Facebook page
Strapping a M777A2 towed 155 mm howitzer to a U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion at Pyramid Rock Beach, Hawaii in 2018. RIMPAC Facebook photo
Hawaii Gov Asks RIMPAC Participants Not To Disembark. Governor David Ige is asking the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command to disallow participating personnel aboard the ships to disembark during the international military excersise set for this summer. Big Island Video News.

Navy ‘ready to flex’ Rim of the Pacific exercise in Hawaii despite coronavirus outbreak. The Navy is still hoping to hold the big Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise scheduled mainly through July off Hawaii — but suggested it is looking at modifying the international interoperability drills to do so. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii doesn’t meet federal guidelines to lift quarantine orders by May 1. While Hawaii is among the states with the fewest coronavirus cases, it still does not meet the criteria to reopen May 1. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Ige: Hawaii doesn’t meet the criteria to start reopening. Officials say that this downward trend is good news and that we’re beginning to flatten the curve. But a lot still needs to be done in order to reopen the state. KHON2.

Gov. Ige: 'We do not meet criteria to re-open May 1' as President Trump encouraged. While there were only 11 new positive cases on Thursday, and it appears Hawai‘i is flattening the curve, the state currently doesn’t meet the criteria for a phased opening. KITV4.

Trump Issues Criteria For Reopening Nation, Hawaii Says Not Ready. Governor David Ige says the State does not meet the criteria for phase one, which requires a downward trajectory in cases for a 14-day period. Big Island Video News.

New Federal Guidelines Issued for Reopening of States. Despite the state’s continued downward trend in COVID-19 cases, Hawai‘i does not satisfy the Federal Government’s criteria for a phased economic reopening. Big Island Now.


Should the State use federal funds to pay for rapid antibody tests? Lt. Gov. Josh Green said they should. Imagine being able to tell if someone is immune to COVID-19. The rapid antibody test does exactly that in less than two minutes. KHON2.

CARES money uncertain: State budget woes may eat into neighbor island money. As the state struggles to resurrect an economy sucker-punched by the coronavirus, there were no guarantees Thursday that the neighbor islands will see their fair share of a federal bailout of local governments. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii’s New ‘Economic Navigator’ Has A Murky Journey Ahead. Alan Oshima, a former utility chief executive, faces the daunting task of crafting a long-term economic plan that people can agree on. Civil Beat.

Fed Grants For Small Businesses Run Out. Hawaii firms that acted fast got more than $1.6 billion to pay workers. Civil Beat.


1/3 of Hawaii’s labor force files unemployment claims. More than one-third of Hawaii’s labor force has filed unemployment claims, according to the latest state data as the islands effectively shut down large sectors of the economy to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Associated Press.

Unemployment in Hawaii tops 37% as coronavirus shutdown continues. More than 1 in 3 workers in Hawaii has lost a job as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown, new figures from the state Labor Department show. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii Supreme Court: Inmate Release To Be Considered By Judges. The court also required that motions for release be filed by April 20. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s coronavirus cases rise to 541, up 11. Hawaii Department of Health officials said today that the state’s tally of coronavirus cases has risen to 541, up 11 from Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

DOH Reports 11 New COVID-19 Cases Statewide. The Hawai‘i Department of Health reports 11 new COVID-19 cases since Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 541. Big Island Now.

State encourages use of telehealth services to maintain social distancing. The state Department of Health launched a new online portal compiling resources for residents to conduct health-related appointments remotely. Tribune-Herald.


Mayor: Lifting stay-at-home order is not like 'ripping off a Band-Aid’. Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Thursday outlined the criteria for lifting the city’s stay-at-home order, saying it will be done in phases as it’s safe to do so. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Salary Commission members unanimously vote no to city officials’ raises. In light of the economic crisis facing the city and the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many furloughed or laid off, elected officials and citizens objected to the nearly across-the-board 3% pay raises on the list, many of whom already make well over $100,000. Star-Advertiser.


HART considers a huge $70M-to-$100M ‘change order’ for rail. Rail officials are proposing a complex change order worth $70 million to $100 million that would expand the amount of work to be done by contractor Shimmick/Traylor/Granite JV, which is now building the rail guideway and stations through the airport area. Star-Advertiser.

HART Explores Ways To Keep Rail Work Going Amid COVID-19 Setbacks Can rail’s current primary contractor, STG, build more of the guideway to pick up the slack? Civil Beat.


Paused For Pandemic, Honolulu Homeless Sweeps To Resume. The city says it wants to help unsheltered homeless people to isolate themselves during the pandemic. Civil Beat.


Visitor to Oahu is arrested for violating travel quarantine rules. A woman who flew to Honolulu without a place to stay was arrested Thursday for allegedly violating emergency rules in place because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

Mainland woman arrested for allegedly violating 14-day quarantine. Honolulu Police have arrested a 37-year-old homeless woman from the mainland for violating the state’s 14-day quarantine for travelers. Hawaii News Now.

Visitor suspected of listing fake address as hotel arrested. Honolulu police arrested a visitor who they say flew into Oahu and lied about where she was staying. KHON2.

Visitor arrested for breaking stay at home order. So far this week 388 visitors flew into Hawaii despite the state's mandatory 14-day quarantine for arrivals and stay-at-home orders. KITV4.


A runner can trail droplets up to 30 feet directly behind, researchers say. With gyms closed, popular jogging paths from Diamond Head to Kailua Beach are more crowded than ever with walkers and runners. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

108 inmates on Big Isle seek early release because of pandemic. The state Supreme Court ordered the Hawaii Paroling Authority to “expeditiously address requests for early parole” for prisoners because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Cluster of cases associated with Kona McDonald’s increases to 13. A additional person associated with a pair of McDonald’s restaurants in Kailua-Kona has tested positive for COVID-19, state health officials announced Thursday afternoon. West Hawaii Today.

New COVID-19 Case Identified in Kona Cluster. One new positive COVID-19 case was identified within the Kona cluster among the McDonald’s restaurants, officials reported Thursday afternoon. Big Island Now.

Before coronavirus, Merrie Monarch was scheduled to run this week. Now organizers are struggling to issue refunds. Organizers of the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo continue to issue refunds for tickets to the hula competition, which would have taken place this week, but was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.


County manager vote Friday. The Maui County Council will decide Friday whether voters in November should weigh in on a long-debated charter amendment to hire a professional manager to oversee county operations. Maui News.

Commission: MVB should get no county funds. The county Cost of Government Commission is recommending no county funding in the next budget year for the Maui Visitors Bureau, which helps promote tourism and received a $3 million grant from the county for the current fiscal year. Maui News.

Hale Makua Health Reports 3rd COVID-19 Case: 2 Home Health Patients, 1 Kahului Nursing Home Resident. Hale Makua Health Services has a newly confirmed COVID-19 positive case.  Maui Now.

Third Hale Makua senior has COVID-19; home patient isolated, asymptomatic. Another senior with Hale Makua Health Services has tested positive for coronavirus after time spent at Maui Memorial hospital, Hale Makua officials said Thursday afternoon. Maui News.


Resident loan program rolls out. A new loan program from the county will assist Kaua‘i residents while they wait for unemployment benefits. Garden Island.

Emergency ag loans available. The state Board of Agriculture Thursday approved an emergency loan program for farmers, growers and ranchers across the state who are suffering economically due to the COVID-19 situation. Garden Island.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Ige says 'drastic actions' such as pay cuts needed to plug $1.5B budget hole, state plans for reopening, high school graduation ceremonies canceled, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Gov. David Ige PC: Media pool photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser
With tourism at a standstill, governor says he’s preparing for $1.5B in cuts to state’s budget. The governor says the shutdown of tourism is Hawaii will have a significant impact on the state’s budget — and could lead to up to $1.5 billion in cuts. The entire operating budget for the state is about $8 billion. Hawaii News Now.

State lawmakers looking at department cuts and ways to restore local economy. Only the governor has the power to cut state worker pay and institute furloughs, but Senator Donovan Dela Cruz tells KHON the legislature is also trying to see what they can do to balance state general funding. KHON2.

Public employee pay cuts mulled. Pay cuts for state employees are on the table, but increases in state general excise or personal income taxes are not at this time, Gov. David Ige said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon. West Hawaii Today.

Rep. Case disputes Ige’s claims on federal funds to help proposed pay-cuts. Hawaii’s US Representative Ed Case is at odds with Governor David Ige’s message Wednesday about federal funding being used to help with the state’s billion-dollar budget shortfall. KHON2.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s plan for public worker pay cuts gets pushback. Gov. David Ige’s plan to impose 20% pay cuts for teachers and many other public workers quickly encountered resistance Wednesday from both the public worker unions and some leading state lawmakers. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers, Union Officials Are Pushing Back Against State Pay Cuts. Other options like eliminating vacant positions or tapping the rainy day fund should be considered first. Civil Beat.

Unions plead with governor to reconsider proposed pay cuts of up to 20% for state workers. Union leaders and state lawmakers urged the governor Wednesday to reconsider proposed pay cuts of up to 20% for state employees, saying that slashing salaries so drastically at a time when many families are already struggling with layoffs or reductions in hours would do widespread harm. Hawaii News Now.

Governor Ige considering a pay cut for teachers and most state employees. Facing a 20% cut in pay, experienced teachers are worried about their financial future heading to retirement. KITV4.

State Workers Would Face Pay Cuts up to 20% Under Ige’s Plan to Offset Budget Hit of Coronavirus. Hawai‘i state employees may be looking at pay cuts across the board, as tax revenues shrink amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Big Island Now.

Gov. Ige proposes pay cuts. Governor David Ige is considering a 20% pay cut for state workers due to a drop in tax revenue triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, but hasn’t made any decisions on the proposal. Garden Island.


More than 2,600 visitors have come to Hawaii since quarantine began. More than 500 trans-Pacific passengers came to Hawaii on Tuesday — including some visitors. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii officials intestigating a half-dozen coronavirus clusters. Hawaii health officials are investigating half a dozen COVID-19 clusters throughout the islands as the number of cases continues to creep up. Star-Advertiser.

More Than Half Of Hawaii’s 530 COVID-19 Cases Have Recovered. On Wednesday, 13 more cases of coronavirus were confirmed, taking Hawaii’s COVID-19 infections to a total of 530. Civil Beat.

Hawaii COVID-19 Updates For Wednesday, April 15. As of noon on Wednesday, there have been 530 cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawaiʻi, an increase of 13 from the day before. Big Island Video News.


HEMA chief says time to plan for reopening state’s economy is now. Gov. David Ige’s point man on economic and nonmedical logistic response to the COVID-19 pandemic told lawmakers Wednesday now is the time to plan for reopening the state for business. Tribune-Herald.

Loosening stay-at-home orders could come as early as May if people follow the rules now. After four consecutive days of fewer positive cases, officials are discussing how they will begin our recovery, and gradually start loosening some of the stay-at-home mandates. KHON2.

New rapid antibody tests ‘could be the key to re-opening Hawaii’. As doctors and scientists continue to wage war against this invisible enemy, the rapid antibody test has emerged as the latest tool in their arsenal. KHON2.


More money to flow to Hawaii’s unemployed. After being overwhelmed by more than 200,000 Hawaii unemployment claims since March, state officials have begun to ramp up payments. Star-Advertiser.

General frowns on using Guard to process Hawaii jobless claims. Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara said that he is against using Hawaii National Guard personnel to help process the overflow in unemployment claims caused by the closure of businesses due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Star-Advertiser.


Traditional High School Graduations in Hawaii Canceled This Year. Those will be replaced by alternative ceremonies to be determined by each school, according to the Hawaii Department of Education. Civil Beat.

Given the circumstances, pomp taken from Hawaii graduations. Add another victim to the coronavirus pandemic in Hawaii: traditional public high school graduation ceremonies. Star-Advertiser.

DOE cancels traditional high school graduation ceremonies statewide. The state Department of Education announced Wednesday that “alternative celebrations” will take the place of traditional commencement ceremonies this year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Traditional public school commencement ceremonies canceled this year. “Alternative celebrations” will be held in place of traditional commencement ceremonies at public and public charter schools amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, education officials announced Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.


Hotel for Heroes tweaks program as demand grows. Demand for the Hotel for Heroes program, which houses working health care employees and first responders in free hotel rooms, was so great in its first week that it outstripped supply. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii small businesses start getting federal emergency funding. An auto repair shop in Waipio is one of the small businesses in Hawaii benefiting from the federal CARES Act, meant to help the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

$1M raised for new fund aimed at helping struggling UH students. The University of Hawaii has raised $1 million to help struggling students pay for tuition. The funds will help many continue their education during the pandemic. The university says donors from across the state came together to help students on all 10 campuses. Hawaii News Now.

UH Medical School Seeks Funding To Develop New COVID-19 Blood Tests. A test to confirm workers’ immunity to COVID-19 could put them safely back to work and help Hawaii’s economic recovery, says a medical school professor. Civil Beat.

Zoom Replaces Hugs For Hawaii Parents With Children In Foster Care. Hawaii, like many states, has called off in-person visits because of the coronavirus pandemic, though some think the ban goes too far. Civil Beat.


Honolulu rail agency now expects $80M for project. Rail officials now project that the $9.2 billion, 20-mile project will suffer an $80 million loss in state tax revenue as a result of the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

Wahiawa Health confirms third case of COVID-19. The employees who tested positive are currently in quarantine. KITV4.

Coronavirus Site For Oahu’s Homeless Will Not Offer Testing. There is no widespread COVID-19 screening or testing of homeless people in Hawaii after a facility set up to help has backed off from part of its original mission. Civil Beat.

With fewer cars on the roads, HPD sees uptick in speeding, jaywalking citations. Honolulu police have noticed an increase in speeding and jaywalking in recent weeks as fewer vehicles take to the roads following the stay-at-home order. Hawaii News Now.


Dillingham Airfield tenants get a reprieve as Hawaii delays shutdown. The state is pushing back by a year its plan to terminate its lease at Dillingham Airfield — giving airport tenants “a little reprieve” in the view of one business owner there. Star-Advertiser.

State DOT postpones action at Dillingham Airfield. The DOT says it notified tenants that it has rescinded the termination of their permit at the facility. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Civilian police employee in Hilo tests positive for COVID-19. A civilian who works in the Hawaii Police Department Records Division tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, Chief Paul Ferreira confirmed Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

No new COVID-19 cases reported on Big Island. No new COVID-19 cases were reported in Hawaii County on Wednesday as the number of cases associated with two Kona McDonald’s restaurants held steady at a dozen, state health officials reported. West Hawaii Today.


Kaiser Coronavirus Experts Fly In For Damage Control At Maui Hospital. The Kaiser team from the mainland is expected to significantly bolster the hospital’s efforts to control the spread of the virus. Civil Beat.

Hale Makua Health Services Impacted by COVID-19 Positive Cases. Hale Makua Health Services received word from the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Health that one Home Health patient has tested COVID-19 positive, and that one nursing home resident at the Kahului facility tested positive for COVID-19 as well. Maui Now.

Two with Hale Makua have COVID-19; one possibly exposed at MMMC. A Hale Makua nursing home resident who was potentially exposed to a cluster of coronavirus cases at Maui Memorial Medical Center tested positive for COVID-19, along with a separate Hale Makua home health patient, according to state health officials. Maui News.

Kula Hospital worker tests positive for virus. Extra precautions taken at long-term care facility. Maui News.

Hotels for Heroes Provides 192 First Responders and Health Care Workers on Maui. The statewide Hotels for Heroes program is providing complimentary rooms for health care workers and first responders during the COVID-19 crisis. Maui Now.


No new cases on Kaua‘i. County of Kaua‘i announced a full transition to conducting board and commission meetings remotely on Wednesday and will continue to accept written testimony from the public, as is part of the public process. Garden Island.

Planning the replanting. Kaua‘i County is in the process of planning what kind of native plants they’ll be putting along the Ke Ala Hele Makalae coastal path between Kealia Beach and Kuna Beach, now that ironwood trees illegally felled in the area have been cleared. Garden Island.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Hawaii mulls public employee pay cuts, COVID-19 cluster at Kona fast-food eatery, Honolulu tightens mask requirements, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from HGEA Facebook page
Hawaii Government Employees Association workers HGEA Facebook photo
Unions: Governor is proposing 20% pay cuts for ‘most’ state employees. The governor has proposed a 20% pay cut for “most” public employees as early as May 1, according to two public sector unions. Hawaii News Now.

HSTA says Ige proposing pay cut for teachers, first responders, and nurses. The Hawaii State Teacher’s Union says it has received notice from Governor David Ige’s office, alerting them about a possible 20% pay cut. KHON2.


Hawaii explores visitor crackdowns as more keep coming. Emergency Management Agency Incident Commander Kenneth Hara said he is working with state Attorney General Claire Connors to see whether it’s possible for Hawaii to restrict visitors who arrive for leisure from making lodging reservations. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s daily visitor count hits highest level since quarantine started. The count of daily trans-Pacific visitors rose to its highest level since the first day that Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine was implemented for all arriving passengers. Star-Advertiser.


State hopes to start giving out extra unemployment payments in a week. The state hopes to start distributing by April 22 the first of many thousands of checks that will include the extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits that has been promised by the federal government, according to Scott Murakami, state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations director. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Updates Unemployment Application To Include Pacific Migrants. The state’s fix isn’t perfect but it allows migrants from Micronesia the same level of access to unemployment benefits as other legal workers. Civil Beat.

State launches new online portal for tracking unemployment claims. The status form went online Tuesday after multiple complaints from people waiting to receive benefits. Hawaii News Now.

$20 million in unemployment benefits paid out so far in April. The state Director of Labor and Industrial Relations on Tuesday gave lawmakers some good news regarding unemployment benefits claims, which have skyrocketed during the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.


Safety versus liberty: Constitutional freedoms tempered by COVID-19 crisis. When a constitutional lawyer says the Hawaii government is within its rights to restrict basic freedoms during the coronavirus pandemic, you can probably take that to the bank. West Hawaii Today.

Lockdown Not in Violation of Constitutional Rights, Law Professor Says. A common argument against Hawai‘i’s statewide lockdown is that it’s a violation of an individual’s personal freedoms — restricting movement, erasing jobs and punishing anyone who doesn’t comply. Big Island Now.


Hawaii Experts Disagree Over Importance Of Testing In Reopening Economy. Experts in academia and healthcare have unveiled separate plans for safely reopening Hawaii’s economy. Both frameworks rely heavily on testing, but the state health director says that isn’t where the focus should be. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii is making progress in ‘flattening the curve.’ Now what? The business closures, school shutdowns, social distancing, and masks — it’s all working. State leaders say we all need to keep doing it. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s daily count for new coronavirus cases has been trending downward in recent days, in an encouraging sign that social distancing efforts are working. But officials warned Tuesday that returning too quickly to business as usual could be disastrous. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Lags Behind Other States In Release Of COVID-19 Data. State health officials say they are trying to release more data and are open to providing whatever information people want to know. Civil Beat.


Is Hawaii ready to handle a wave of mass evictions? With nearly a quarter million Hawaii residents filing for unemployment, it stands to reason that the next crisis to hit the Islands will be mass evictions from people who cannot pay their rent. That's what a group of state Senators predicts, and they quizzed Attorney General Clare Connors about it on Tuesday. KITV4.

Lawsuit: Special Ed Students Need Extra Help When Schools Reopen. A potential class action suit proposes that the Hawaii DOE set parameters to assess the needs of Hawaii’s special education students during the school closures. Civil Beat.

Economists Seek Data To Help Hawaii Businesses. Detailed information can help policymakers steer assistance to needy areas and industries. Businesses across Hawaii are being asked to participate in a statewide survey designed to identify what businesses will continue to need assistance and to help plan for restoring the economy. Civil Beat.

State making sure safety-net programs continue uninterrupted during pandemic. Several state programs to assist with food, finances and child care are available during the COVID-19 crisis for those who might need help. Tribune-Herald.

Demand for food assistance in Hawaii skyrockets during COVID-19 crisis. With Hawaii’s economy in the tank due to the coronavirus pandemic, more people than ever are reaching out for food to feed their families. Star-Advertiser.

Deal to save Meadow Gold Hawaii collapses. A deal that would have saved Meadow Gold Hawaii has been dropped. On Monday, Meadow Gold’s parent company, Dean Foods, said it intended to close its Honolulu facility by April 30. Hawaii News Now.


Mayor Caldwell mandates masks for business interactions. Starting Monday, everyone conducting a business transaction on the island will need to wear a nonsurgical mask. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Will Require Masks At Businesses And Riding Transit. Starting Monday, all visitors to grocery stores and other open businesses will need to keep their faces covered with a mask, scarf, bandanna or other material. Civil Beat.

Under emergency order, city to make non-medical face masks mandatory in public. The city is making face masks mandatory for most interactions in public, including when visiting businesses, on the city bus, or when ordering from the drive-thru. Hawaii News Now.


The Coronavirus Has Been Good For Hanauma Bay. Scientists says studies being done in the unusual absence of tourists will help them understand the impact of large numbers of people on the natural world. Civil Beat.

Visitor pays fine and apologizes for slapping Hawaiian monk seal on Oahu. The attorney for a man who slapped a Hawaiian monk seal while visiting Oahu several months ago has issued an apology on behalf of his client. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

COVID-19 cluster tied to Kona McDonald’s. State health officials said there is no “significant risk” to the public after a dozen people associated with a Kailua-Kona fast-food establishment tested positive for COVID-19. West Hawaii Today.

Second cluster of Hawaii coronavirus cases found at McDonald’s in Kona. An employee who contracted the new coronavirus inadvertently infected six other workers at McDonald’s locations on Makala Boulevard at Kona Commons and at Walmart in Kailua-Kona. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 Cluster Linked To Kona McDonalds. State officials eventually confirmed the "limited, localized community spread of COVID-19 among employees at a Kona food establishment" took place at two Kona McDonalds. Big Island Video News.

12 Positive Cases Tied to McDonald’s COVID-19 Cluster in Kona on Hawai‘i Island. On Hawaiʻi Island, a cluster at a fast food restaurant in Kona has resulted in 12 positive cases–including seven workers and five family members of two of the employees. Maui Now.

COVID-19 cluster prompts closure, cleaning of Kona fast food eateries. The state Health Department is investigating a cluster of coronavirus cases linked to two fast food eateries in Kona. Hawaii News Now.

DOH investigating localized community spread among McDonald's employees in Kona. The Department of Health is investigating a limited, localized community spread of COVID-19 among McDonald's employees in Kona. KITV4.

Kona Coronavirus Cluster Swells to 14. A cluster of coronavirus cases in Kailua-Kona has swelled from eight to 14 overnight and left both McDonald’s locations in West Hawai‘i closed indefinitely. Big Island Now.


Kubota confirmed as Third Circuit judge. The state Senate announced on Monday announced the confirmation of Peter K. Kubota as Circuit Count judge of the Third Circuit. West Hawaii Today.

Kona airport to get $13M in federal funding. Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole will receive more than $13 million in federal funds after the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a $10 billion aid package to support airports nationwide. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor not taking position on calls to oust hospital leaders. He remains concerned about virus cluster but calls hospital safe. Maui News.

Things Got Out Of Hand Quickly At Maui Hospital. Staff at the Maui medical facility that is the center of a COVID-19 cluster describe a chaotic week on the job. Civil Beat.

16 tested after Kula Hospital employee comes down with virus. A total of 16 people who were believed to have been exposed to a worker with COVID-19 at Kula Hospital have been tested for the virus, according to a state official. Maui News.


Kauai mayor expands virus measures. Everyone over age 5 on Kauai must wear a cloth face mask during most activities while outside in public to curb the spread of COVID-19, according to a new county mandate. Star-Advertiser.

Council makes Brun ex-officio member. Kaua‘i County Councilmember Arthur Brun has been in federal custody in Honolulu since his arrest this winter. Garden Island.

Loosening up the rules. County of Kauai has loosened restrictions for construction and landscaping and for realtors starting today, cracking open the stay-at-home mandate and allowing some local residents to get back to work. Garden Island.

Lihu‘e Airport gets funding. The Lihu‘e Airport, Kaua‘i’s gateway to air travel, is scheduled to receive more than $13 million in funding. Garden Island.