By JOHN BURNETT and MICHAEL BRESTOVANSKY Hawaii Tribune-Herald | Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 12:05 a.m.
Gov. David Ige and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said in a joint media conference Tuesday that new gathering-size restrictions imposed in response to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases apply only to Oahu.
“I do want to make it clear that the neighbor islands continue in the ‘Act with Care’ phase of their reopening plans,” Ige said. “They have not seen the increased counts that we have seen here on Oahu.”
In addition, Ige said a plan to allow travelers who arrive in the state with a negative COVID-19 test result issued within 72-hours of departure has been pushed back from Sept. 1 “until Oct. 1 at the earliest.”
“We will continue to monitor the conditions here in Hawaii, as well as key markets on the mainland, to determine the appropriate start date of for the pre-travel testing program. We will be making that announcement in time so that the hospitality industry would have the time they need to staff up,” he said.
Ige also said a moratorium on evictions of tenants who fail to pay rent will continue at least through September.
Hawaii’s daily case count continues to be in the triple digits. Tuesday’s case count of 134 contains 124 new Oahu cases, seven in Maui County and three on Hawaii Island. Hawaii County Civil Defense reported 20 still-active cases and one hospitalization.
Despite the low Big Island numbers, Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno expressed concern in his morning message, saying the island “has seen daily increases of positive cases over the past two weeks.”
“Most of these recent cases are not travel-related, which means the virus is being transmitted within the community,” Magno said.