As Kauai County balances phasing in the reopening of the economy and minimizing the spread of COVID-19, Mayor Derek Kawakami announced most county government offices will operate on a four-day, 10-hour day week starting this week.
The move is being made in an effort to continue operations while reducing the number of times employees leave their homes.
The new schedule will begin Monday, when most county offices will open from 6:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and close every Friday, said Kawakami at a daily COVID-19 briefing Thursday.
“This four-day-a-week, 10-hour-day schedule is simply a way to help us find creative ways to continue to reduce movement on our island while continuing to operate at full capacity,” he added, noting full-time employees will continue to work 40 hours a week.
Kawakami stressed none of the employees are being furloughed and there is no pay reduction.
“This is a temporary adjustment during this emergency period and will end whenever the disaster proclamation ends or when schools resume, whichever comes first,” he said. The four-day work week for nearly 400 county employees is expected to reduce their commute times by 20 percent.
“This move is a sacrifice for some of our associates given their personal circumstances and we acknowledge that. For those employees, we are prepared to provide flexibility to help minimize any hardships. We also recognize this may impact some of the ways you interface with the county. However, we know that our targeted actions add up to a larger impact in our ability to reduce the risk of COVID-19,” Kawakami said.
Kauai County has the lowest number of confirmed cases among the counties in the state. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has remained at 21 for more than two weeks. Kauai’s last active case involved an individual who was released from the hospital last week and is now recovering. The other 20 individuals who tested positive have recovered or returned to the mainland.
Kawakami is expected to release more information on county operations as services are restored in the coming weeks.
Despite the temporary four-days-a-week schedule, Kawakami said certain services such as construction inspections will remain available to the public by request on Fridays.