UPDATE: 4:25 p.m.
Gov. David Ige has extended his statewide stay-at-home order and the mandatory 14-day quarantine for passengers arriving in the islands through May 31.
“This was not an easy decision,” Ige said today at a news conference. “I know that this has been difficult for everyone. Businesses need to reopen. People want to end this self-imposed isolation, and we want to return to normal.”
He said the coronavirus is serious, especially for older adults, and he feared seeing a “sudden surge” that could overwhelm the health care system by reopening the state prematurely.
The changes are part of Ige’s sixth supplemental emergency proclamation, which he signed today.
Ige modified his orders to allow the public to exercise on beaches, including walking, running, or jogging as long as social distancing measures are followed.
He also said he is allowing elective medical procedures because the state’s health care system has shown an adequate capacity for handling coronavirus cases, but that could change.
“For now, contact your health care provider to get the care you need, especially if you need treatment for a chronic condition or an elective procedure,” he said.
Also today, Ige said he extended the eviction moratorium, which bans evictions from residential dwellings for failure to pay rent, through May 31.
The stay-at-home order means residents may only leave their homes for essential needs, including healthcare, purchasing groceries, taking care of the elderly or those with disabilities, receiving meals, or picking up educational materials. The order allows for outdoor exercise, including swimming, surfing, and walking pets.
Also during the news conference, officials discussed new measures to monitor tourists arriving at airports, including requiring visitors to verify their lodging information with airport representatives before leaving the airport.
“The process is slower, but it is effective,” Tim Sakahara, spokesman for the Department of Transportation said. “It is considered another deterrent for those people visiting Hawaii and to rethink those plans. People must understand that this is not the time to be vacationing in Hawaii.”
Hawaii’s tally of coronavirus cases has risen to 604, up three from Friday, state Department of Health officials said today.
Of all the confirmed cases in Hawaii since the start of the outbreak, 68 have required hospitalizations, with one new hospitalization reported today, health officials said.
The state’s coronavirus death toll stands at 14, unchanged from Friday. Nine of the deaths have been on Oahu and five on Maui.
Today’s statewide total includes 395 cases on Oahu, 112 in Maui County, 69 on Hawaii island, and 21 in Kauai County, according to health officials.
The statewide total also includes seven Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of the state, one more than Friday.
Oahu had three new cases today but state health officials dropped the Maui County total by one case. Health officials said that after receiving updated information, they “re-categorized” a case previously included in Maui’s count to Honolulu.
A total 482 patients have recovered since the start of the outbreak, with health officials reporting 19 new recoveries today. Nearly 80% of the people who have been infected in Hawaii are now classified as recovered.
By county, Honolulu has seen 343 patients recover, Maui has had 73 recoveries, the Big Island has had 47, and Kauai has seen 19, as of noon today, the Health Department says.
Of the 68 hospitalizations in the state, 53 have been on Oahu, 13 on Maui and one each on the Big Island on Kauai.
The state Joint COVID-19 Information Center said that of the 27,572 coronavirus tests so far conducted by state and clinical laboratories in the islands, just under 2.2% have been positive.
On Friday, state health officials announced two coronavirus deaths on Oahu and the state epidemiologist Sarah Park told lawmakers that a second wave of COVID-19 is likely on the horizon.
Editor’s Note: This story is developing and will be updated as soon as more information becomes available.