(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi County is ending its emergency rules related to COVID-19 on the Big Island, although State rules – like those that mandate indoor masking and testing/vaccination requirements for Hawaiʻi government employees – remain in effect.
Mayor Mitch Roth issued a news release announcing the termination of Thirteenth Supplementary Emergency Proclamation, and also posted a video message to social media.
From the County of Hawaiʻi:
Mayor Mitch Roth announces the termination of Hawaiʻi County’s Thirteenth Supplementary Emergency Proclamation, declaring an end to all County emergency rules related to COVID-19. As a result, effective immediately, there will no longer be a limit on gathering sizes (indoor and outdoor), which ultimately removes the County’s coveted mechanism for ‘special gatherings’ review and approval. However, residents must still adhere to the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation Related to COVID-19 (Omicron Varient), which includes indoor mask-wearing, Safe Travels requirements, and testing/vaccination requirements for County and State employees. The Governor’s emergency order will remain in effect until March 25 unless otherwise acted upon. It is unclear if the Governor will extend his emergency rules beyond then.
“We are excited to announce a new day for Hawaiʻi County as we shift our efforts from response to recovery,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “Since taking office in late 2020, our administration has worked tirelessly to manage the ongoing pandemic through fair and data-driven policies. It’s what has allowed us to keep our community safe while also allowing our small businesses and large employers to keep their lights on and their employees working. The decisions we made were challenging and, at times, not always favorable, but we made them with aloha, with data to back them, and with the best interest of all in mind. We believe in our community and their ability to do the right thing for everybody. Moving forward, response is in their hands, and we are confident they will make the right choices for all of us.”
The termination of the Mayor’s Thirteenth Supplementary Emergency Proclamation marks the first time since February 28, 2020, that Hawaiʻi County is without emergency orders related to COVID-19 – two years to the day.
“COVID is by no means gone, but we now believe that we are getting to a point where we can learn to live with the virus,” continued Mayor Roth. “Our medical professionals and frontline first responders have shown that we are capable of moving forward cautiously. We have the resources, we have the want, and we have the capacity. If we have to pivot, we will. But for now, we remain optimistic and ready to tackle the challenges ahead – together.”