Oahu gyms, personal care services and other activities will be able to resume on Thursday under Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s latest emergency order.
Caldwell sent the order moving Oahu into the second tier of economic reopening to Gov. David Ige for approval.
The second phase of reopening will allow groups of five from different households to dine at restaurants; as well as authorize legal short-term rentals to resume business. Gyms and fitness facilities will be able to operate at 25% capacity and have indoor classes with no more than five people and outdoor classes with no more than 10 people.
Arcades will be allowed to open at 25% capacity, helicopter tours at 50% capacity and groups of five will be allowed indoors for all other commercial attractions operating at 50% capacity. Personal care, including massage parlors and beauty services, will be able to reopen. However, bars and nightclubs remain closed.
“It’s been pretty devastating. It’s hurting everyone all the way around. Obviously we haven’t had bar seating for over a month now at this point,” said Marc Souza, manager at The Shack in Mililani, which is required to close at 10 p.m. instead of its regular midnight or 2 a.m. schedule. “We’re in full compliance as best we can be and we’re struggling to stay open. We’re just hoping all the tiers are going to continue to progress and that we’ll be able to stay above water.”
Social gatherings are still limited to five people, including at parks, beaches and on hiking trails, while church services remain at 50% capacity, as do funerals at a 10-person limit.
Oahu’s seven-day average coronavirus case count had to stay below 100 and its seven-day average positivity rate below 5% for 14 consecutive days to move to the next level of economic opening on Thursday. The island’s seven-day average COVID-19 count was 66 Tuesday, the 21st straight day below 100, while the seven-day average positivity rate was 2.9%, the 27th straight day below 5%.
Oahu must stay in Tier 2 for four weeks and maintain 49 or fewer cases with a positivity rate of 2.49% for 14 consecutive days in order to move into Tier 3, which would increase social gatherings to 10 people from five and funerals to 25 from 10. Gyms and fitness facilities also would be allowed to operate at 50% capacity from 25% in the third phase of reopening.
However, Oahu could also revert back to Tier 1 if the daily case average exceeds 100 for two consecutive weeks.
“I think it’s a little early (to move into the next reopening phase) with tourism coming back. It’s just the uncertainty of it spreading,” said Nicole Niau, a former manager at Lucky Strike at Ala Moana Center. “I just feel like it’s a little bit early with all this talk about going into a third wave. Having tourism come back is great, but we didn’t get to test the numbers yet. A lot of people are talking about a bigger spike coming in.”
Hawaii reported two new coronavirus deaths on Oahu and 91 new infections statewide, bringing the totals since the start of the pandemic to 189 deaths and 14,156 cases. The fatalities were Oahu residents with underlying medical conditions — a man between 70 and 79 years old and a woman over the age of 80.
For the first time, the state Health Department reported four cases of COVID-19 among residents, including one possibly associated with travel, on the rural island of Lanai.
There are 2,817 active infections statewide, and 11,150 patients now considered recovered, or about 79% of those infected. Health officials counted 3,681 tests in the tally for a 2.5% statewide positivity rate.
Go to oneoahu.org for more information on Oahu’s reopening plan.