Hawaii County Mayor Kim and Island Conversations host Sherry Bracken talked about the current COVID-19 spike on the island. Today, Tuesday Aug. 25, there are 74 active cases out of 209 cumulative cases on the island. Mayor Kim today issued Rule 11, which imposes certain restrictions on gatherings. They are now limited to 10 people, with masks, or 25 at a sports practice, or 50 for sports competitions. That information is here.
Mayor Kim has exempted worship services from the Rule, in some ways. The printed information says churches may conduct services subject to restrictions on distancing. The printed information says churches are “encouraged” to consider additional safeguards, such as masking, and are encouraged to avoid buffets and such. Mayor Kim says the mask requirement is mandatory for everybody.
Mayor Kim said there are cases that have come from large memorial services with many people not wearing masks, and not distancing, and there are some at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo. He said he is discouraged by people who are violating the county’s prohibitions on gatherings, or not wearing masks.
He said the County has asked Premier Medical Group to continue providing free testing here on Hawaii Island, including coming up Thursday, Aug 27 in Keaukaha from 9 a.m. til 1 p.m. One of the large gatherings was held in Keaukaha, and Mayor Kim said it’s important to try to determine how much community spread of COVID-19 there is–and testing will help.
Kim urges the public to call the police at 808-935-3311 or Hawaii County Civil Defense at 808-935-0031 if they are aware of violations of the gathering prohibitions.