Publisher's note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire, and written by Joseph Curl.
Democratic Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has ordered a shut-down for all residents of Oahu, the state's most populous island and home to about 875,000 people.
All "non-essential" businesses — retail stores, personal services like barber shops and salons, gyms, restaurants and bars — must shut down for two weeks. Beaches and parks will also be closed.
Businesses deemed "essential," such as grocery stores, child care facilities, construction and some educational services, can stay open. Religious services will also be allowed under the new order but will be restricted.
Violations are punishable as misdemeanors, with fines of up to $5,000, up to a year in jail, or both.
Honolulu has had 6,382 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 41 deaths, according to
Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
"Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said during the shutdown the city and state plan to [significantly] ramp up testing — conducting 60,000 tests in 12 days — to be able to reopen safely,"
Hawaii News Now reported
. "Officials said authorities will also use the time to bolster contact tracing programs and improve quarantine and isolation measures."
"We're going to see how it goes,"
Caldwell said at a press conference. "We're hopeful the number will decline."
"Everybody has to do their part and for the most part people are,"
Caldwell said. "We can do this ... and when we reopen it will be different this time."
The mayor said if COVID-19 cases go down, the city would start to open again, but if not, the order could be extended.
The latest order comes three weeks after all bars on the island were closed. But Caldwell said more must be done.
"Now we've taken this more drastic measure and it does have an impact on business. I know it's a struggle,"
Caldwell said, who added that the city has asked the state for permission to hire up to 500 contract tracers.
Democratic Hawaii Gov. David Ige endorsed Caldwell's order, saying: "Re-implementing a stay-at-home order is what Oahu needs at this time."
"I think the mayor and I both agree that we wish that the actions taken already would have been more successful,"
the governor said. "It has flattened the curve a little but we both agree we have to do more."
Democratic Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green added that the "stay-at-home" order will hurt but "will also save lives."
Hawai'i Magazine laid out
exactly what the order means to Oahu residents:
Here's what this means from now through Sept. 10:
- Non-essential workers must work from home. Non-essential business cannot allow workers to report to offices.
- Restaurant can only offer takeout. No dine-in service allowed. Bars are still closed.
- Beaches, parks, botanical gardens, campgrounds and hiking trails are still closed. People can still cross parks and beaches to access the ocean for recreational activities such as surfing, solo fishing and swimming. (Exercise is considered an essential activity.)
- Gyms, salons and golf courses, which were opened during the last Act with Care order, are now closed.
- City and hotel pools are closed; pools in condonimums can remain open.
- Schools and childcare can operate. Private school is closed to in-person instruction. (Public schools are already doing this.)
- Religious services are allowed to continue, with restrictions.
- No social gatherings and groups must limited to no more than five people.
- Out-of-state visitors are still required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Anyone traveling from Oʻahu to Maui, Hawaiʻi and Kauaʻi counties are subjected to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival, too.