(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi County has enacted the latest version of its COVID-19 emergency rules today, expanding outdoor gathering limits, but keeping other restrictions in place.
With the signing of the Mayor’s COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 18 on Monday, the Big Island is expanding outdoor gathering limits to 25 for organized sports at all outdoor county recreational facilities. “The rule also creates a mechanism for sporting organizers to apply for special event exemptions to allow for gathering sizes above the limit of 25 for organized sports, which includes spectators, pending proper COVID-19 mitigation protocols,” a County news release says.
To be granted an event exemption, the County says organizers must have:
- Reasonable means and methods to limit and enforce restrictions on the gathering including realistic, sufficient resources to implement such; and
- Reasonable means to inform, and methods to ensure and enforce, physical distancing requirements for all persons present; and
- Reasonable strategies for disinfection/sanitization of all common and high-touch surfaces.
“We are excited to get our keiki back onto the fields and into our open-air gyms safely,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “Because of the work that everyone has been doing to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, our numbers have seen a steady decline, and because of it, we believe that we can now make this transition in a way that is safest for our keiki and their families. We know that organized sports are a huge part of our local community here on Hawaiʻi Island, and we would like to thank everyone from the parents to the coaches, and especially the keiki, for hanging in there with us and supporting our County as we continue to work through this pandemic – together!”
The County added:
To submit formal requests for event exemptions at County recreational facilities , please visit https://bit.ly/3oMmcRt. The Department of Parks and Recreation will review all requests in a timely fashion. The department will also help sporting organizers create COVID-19 mitigation plans on a case-by-case basis if needed. For any questions, please contact the Department of Parks and Recreation at 808-961-8311.
Mayor’s COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 18, signed in concurrence with Governor Ige earlier today, went into effect today and will be in effect until December 3, “unless terminated or superseded by a separate proclamation, whichever shall occur first,” officials say.
Under the new rule, nightclubs, large indoor and outdoor venues, and road races like marathons and triathlons shall remain closed. Restaurants are reminded to follow all COVID-19 protocols, officials say, including ensuring that masks are worn at all times when not actively eating or drinking.
Judiciary Postpones Jury Trials Until November 16
From the Hawaiʻi State Judiciary:
Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has issued a first extension of an order postponing jury trials across the state through November 16, 2021. This order was issued in response to the current status of COVID-19 cases in the community.
“We continue to be concerned about the number of positive cases and hospitalizations being reported in our community,” said the Chief Justice. “We need to take these precautions to reduce the number of people congregating in Judiciary facilities to protect court users and our staff.”
The Judiciary has implemented detailed plans to safeguard the health and safety of jurors, court staff, attorneys, litigants, and all involved since the resumption of jury trials last November. These plans were reviewed by the Hawaii Department of Health and included health screening, temperature checks, reconfigured courtrooms to ensure social distancing, plexiglass barriers, and providing hand sanitizer, masks, and face shields.
The order includes civil, criminal, and family court proceedings, but affects only jury trials. All other court proceedings – many of which are conducted remotely by Zoom – will be held as scheduled.