(BIVN) – Governor David Ige held a news conference on Friday, announcing the latest Emergency Proclamation Related to the State’s COVID-19 DELTA Response has been signed.
“In late May and early June, we all had hoped that the emergency period would end soon,” Governor Ige said. “We were doing well with vaccinations, the case counts were stable and dropping. With the availability of vaccines we felt we would be in a good position by summer. We know today that with the Delta variant, everything changed.”
“In late August, Delta caused a spike in the cases that we saw, exceeding more than a thousand new cases per day for several days,” he said. “Hospitalizations spiked and our health care facilities were in crisis.”
“Today, the number of cases has been trending lower, and the number of COVID patients in our hospitals has continued to fall,” the governor said. “However, COVID continues to cause high rates of infection throughout our state. The seven day average exceeds 300.”
“We continue to monitor the healthcare situation in our islands, and we felt its important that we continue and extened the emergency proclamation today,” Governor Ige said.
According to the State, the new emergency proclamation:
- Keeps the Safe Travels program and statewide mask mandates in place.
- Keeps in place the provision allowing for the extension of expirations for driver’s licenses and instructional permits that expired during the emergency period.
- Clarifies that employers are not required to pay for COVID-19 testing of employees who choose to undergo regular COVID-19 testing in place of vaccinations.
- Restores civil service recruitment requirements which were previously suspended in alignment with federal law. The suspension served to ensure that the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) had adequate personnel resources to respond to the unemployment crisis caused by COVID-19.
- Allows state Boards and Commissions to continue meeting virtually, using interactive conference technology, reflecting the intent of the Legislature in Act 220 (2021). This EP adds that Board and Commissions will provide testifiers the same option to testify audio visually.
Gathering restrictions are implemented by individual counties, the State says.