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Editorial | Off the News

Off the News: Anxiety relief in the age of COVID-19

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The state Health Department, in partnership with the University of Hawaii, is launching Hawaii C.A.R.E.S. (Coordinated Access Resource Entry System), a hotline offering crisis support as well as access to mental health resources and substance-use treatment services.

This “one-stop” approach sounds particularly helpful amid the anxiety-inducing spread of COVID-19. In a news release, Kathryn Boyer, C.A.R.E.S. program director said: “We are here to listen and to provide you with helpful resources to get you through the challenges you are facing during the pandemic, and beyond.” To access services through C.A.R.E.S., call 1 (800) 753-6879.

You can swim, but you can’t park

One complaint about park closures is that the ocean is still open — but is harder to get to, with the parking lots chained off.

Those who don’t mind a hike can get there and cross to the beach. But those who might be wanting to trek to the island’s trails are less fortunate: On Monday all state trails were closed — which makes sense. Some are accessed through state parks, which also are closed.

Additionally, officials warn folks away from offshore islands and sandbars. Landing watercraft is banned … but what if someone tries swimming there? Let’s hope not.

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