(BIVN) – Honolulu Mayor Kirk William Caldwell and Maui Mayor Michael Victorino on Sunday both issued “stay-at-home, work-at-home” orders to combat the spread of COVID-19. The orders go into effect Monday and continue through April 30.
The two county orders follow a State of Hawaiʻi proclamation yesterday that ordered all arrivals into Hawaiʻi to quarantine for 14-days starting on Thursday, March 26. Governor David Ige issued the following statement on the today’s decisions made by Honolulu and Maui:
The mayors of the City and County of Honolulu and Maui have my full support for the stay-at-home, work-at-home orders they issued today. We have been working together on this issue, and this morning we agreed that the mayors should develop their own plans to meet the unique needs of their counties. We also agreed that statewide action will be needed. I have directed the Attorney General to review the orders other states have issued and prepare a statewide plan that will keep the people of Hawaii safe and healthy.
Meanwhile, Hawaiʻi County awaits a decision by Mayor Harry Kim.
During an emergency meeting held on Friday, the mayor was criticized by councilmembers for his failure to enact stringent measures, like those enacted by Honolulu and Maui today. The Hawaiʻi Island legislative delegation also pressured the mayor to take action.
The council even introduced a resolution calling upon the mayor to enact “strict lock-down measures” to address the pandemic. The proposal called for “allowed activities and essential businesses” to be kept open, to include:
These “essential activities”:
- Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor.
- Getting necessary services or supplies for an individual or that individual’s family or household members, such as getting food, pet food, and supplies necessary for staying at home.
- Engaging in solitary or small group outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, running or golfing provided that you maintain at least six feet of social distancing.
- Performing work related to operation of an essential business or essential government function( defined below).
- Caring for a family member in another household.
- Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, person with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
Also, the operation of these “essential business functions”:
- Healthcare operations, including home health workers.
- Essential infrastructure, including construction of housing and operation of public transportation and utilities.
- Businesses that provide necessities of life for economically disadvantaged individuals and shelter facilities.
- Pharmacies, health care supply stores, and health care facilities.
- Gas stations and auto repair facilities.
- Rubbish collection.
- Hardware stores, plumbers, electricians, and other service providers necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and businesses.
- Laundromats and laundry service providers.
- Businesses that primarily ship or deliver groceries, food, and goods.
- Childcare facilities providing services that enable essential employees to go to work.
- Roles required for any Essential Business to “maintain basic operations,” which include security, payroll, and similar activities.
The council also brought forth a resolution urging Governor David Ige to “direct and mandate strict and uniform lockdown measures” throughout the state.
“Lives are at stake,” said Puna councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz, pushing the mayor to support the resolutions with administrative action. “It’s important for us to know when we can expect a response. We asked questions Monday. We haven’t gotten responses. We just need to know.”
Kim asked Kierkiewicz to give him until midnight to respond.
Midnight came and went, but during a Saturday KWXX radio interview with Chris Leonard, the day after the council meeting, Mayor Kim said a total shutdown would be impossible.
“Total shutdown means police officers stay home,” Kim said. “Total shutdown. Your emergency managers, and the hospital workers. That’s impossible. What people are asking for is a shutdown of …”
“Non-essential personnel,” Leonard inserted.
“… try to define non-essential,” answered Kim. “We are not asking people to go out and carry as life is normal.”