Certain places in Hawaii closed to curtail COVID-19 may begin to reopen within a month.
However, the lifting of restrictions that have crushed the state economy is expected to be a gradual process that takes place at different times for different islands and places on each island.
A leader in the reopening effort, Mark Mugiishi, president and CEO of the Hawaii Medical Service Association, announced the projected timetable today during a meeting of the state House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness.
Mugiishi said a leadership team has been formed for the purpose, and it includes representatives of state government and the private sector who will work closely with county leaders, national experts and others.
The first task will be to sketch out work plans this week to support screening, testing, tracking and quarantining the population when benchmarks for reduced transmission of the novel coronavirus have been met.
Two weeks from now, that plan should be finalized after vetting and tweaking elements.
“Our current timeline is aggressive but it’s necessary for it to be aggressive,” Mugiishi said.
Mugiishi said the gradual reopening could start with certain places, such as parks or restaurants hypothetically, and expand as capacity for screening, testing and monitoring grows. He also said the reopening could be done on different islands at different times.