Question: When the city canceled AlohaQ appointments, did it cancel all of them, or just through a certain date?
Answer: All of them. Appointments could be made up to six months in advance through the online reservation system, and the city government canceled all of them when it closed driver’s license centers and satellite city halls to in-person visits last month, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The system is not taking new appointments yet.
To answer other readers’ questions, when the online reservation system resumes operating at an unspecified future date, appointments won’t necessarily be restored in the order they were canceled, according to the city.
The city will try to serve people with the most urgent needs first, a spokesman for the Department of Customer Services told Kokua Line earlier this month.
For example, customers who had made appointments (since canceled) to obtain a federally compliant driver’s license are no longer under urgent deadline pressure to acquire the credential, since the federal government has extended the REAL ID enforcement date by a year, to Oct. 1, 2021.
Those folks likely would get bumped for people with more urgent needs, such as having a driver’s license that is about to expire.
The city has adapted some processes to continue online or by mail, while the service centers are closed to customers. Find details at honolulu.gov/csd/ by clicking on the “Changes to Operations” link on that page.
Q: I’m told that walkers and runners are required to wear face masks because they are not listed as exempted in the mayor’s order. Please, can you get clarification on whether or not walkers and runners are “required” to wear masks under the order that took effect Monday in Honolulu County?
A: What you heard is incorrect. The requirements of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s Emergency Order 2020-07, which took effect Monday on Oahu, apply to specific activities at essential businesses and to travel on mass transit. People outdoors simply to exercise don’t need to be exempted because the requirements don’t apply to them in the first place.
To recap, the order requires everyone on TheBus and TheHandi-Van (passengers and drivers) to wear face masks; and it requires all customers and visitors at essential businesses to wear face masks; and it requires employees and service providers of essential businesses to wear face masks when they are interacting with customers or visitors. Essential businesses are those allowed to operate during the COVID-19 shutdown.
The order encourages everyone to wear face masks when outside their homes for any allowable activity (which includes exercise), but that part is a recommendation, not a requirement.
You can read all the mayor’s emergency proclamations related to COVID-19 at honolulu.gov/csd.
Q: Please remind people to launder their fabric face masks. They shouldn’t be worn day after day otherwise.
A: Yes, you are correct. The U.S. Centers for Disease control says on its website that cloth face covers “should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use” and that “a washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.”
Another reader pointed out that her homemade mask shrank quite a bit after being washed in hot water and dried at high heat; shrinkage may vary according to the type of fabric used.
Thank you to all the workers who were rarely heralded before but now are rightly recognized as vital and essential. I’m talking about the grocery store cashiers, the people who stock the shelves, the ones who work at the gas station, the pharmacy, etc. — all the people who go to work every day while some of us have the luxury of staying home. — A kupuna
Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email email@example.com.