Beginning today, drivers and pedestrians who pass by the Honolulu Hale on South King Street will see daily reminders of Oahu’s seven-day average coronavirus case count.
In front of a newly installed digital message board outside of Honolulu Hale, Caldwell said it will remind Oahu residents of how they are doing each day to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
“As people drive down King Street, day or night, they can see it and know how we’re doing,” Caldwell said. “It’s kind of like the weather report.”
City officials are also working with the state Department of Transportation to display the same numbers on existing digital message boards on the island’s freeway overpasses.
The new message board costs approximately $20,000 apiece paid with city funds, according to Ty Fukumitsu, head of the Transportation and Technology Division at the state Department of Transportation.
“The message boards were purchased prior to the pandemic, so we did not use CARES money,” Caldwell added.
The freeway overpass signs have been used throughout the pandemic to encourage people to wear masks, wash their hands and practice social distancing. “The COVID-19 messaging will be preempted by messages related to lane closures, critical traffic information, and rush hour travel time,” according to a city news release.
Caldwell will also begin providing status updates to the public every Thursday at 12:30 p.m. on the path toward fully reopening Oahu. Caldwell said his office will also share daily social media posts on his accounts with COVID-19 metrics specific to Oahu every weekday at 12:30 p.m.
Oahu’s seven-day average case count must stay below 100 and its positivity rate must be below 5% for 14 consecutive days to move to the next level of economic opening. In a tweet, Caldwell said Oahu’s seven-day average case count is now at 87, the fourth straight day below 100, and the island’s seven-day positivity rate is at 3.5%.
87 cases on Oʻahu today, bringing our 7-day averages to 87 cases and a 3.5% positivity rate. Sadly, we’ve also seen 11 new deaths related to this virus. pic.twitter.com/X1unVrYyE8
— Kirk Caldwell (@MayorKirkHNL) October 3, 2020
Hawaii Department of Health officials today reported 11 additional coronavirus-related deaths on Oahu — including eight fatalities from previous months – and 133 new infections statewide, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 153 deaths and 12,734 cases. Oahu recorded 87 new infections today.
“We’re doing really good, Oahu,” Caldwell said today.
Caldwell urged Oahu residents to continue the low coronavirus case counts in order to move into the second tier of the four-tier Oahu reopening strategy. Caldwell said it could be a possibility in the third week of October if Oahu keeps it up.
“Oahu, we can do this,” Caldwell said. “I know we can; The other islands have. We can too even though we are the most populous island.”
Watch the video from the press conference above.