Mayor Derek SK Kawakami has proposed additional tiers to the county’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols in a step toward loosening restrictions.
Kawakami sent a proposal to Gov. David Ige that would modify the county’s tier system to add a Tier 5 and Tier 6. These tiers would be triggered by Hawai‘i’s COVID-19 vaccination rates.
Kaua‘i is currently in Tier 4.
“We know that vaccines are the quickest way for us to move forward,” Kawakami stated. “Our island took early, firm actions at the start of this pandemic which helped us build a robust vaccine program. As a result, Kaua‘i is leading the state with 48% of Hawai‘i residents now fully vaccinated and protected against severe effects of COVID.”
If the proposal is approved, Tier 5 would go into effect when 60% of Hawai‘i residents have been fully vaccinated, and Kaua‘i’s seven-day average case count is less than three with a test positivity rate under 1%. Under Tier 5, maximum group size limits would be increased to 25 indoor and 75 outdoor, and max capacity for businesses and activities would increase to 75%.
Tier 6 would go into effect once 70% of residents statewide are fully vaccinated. Reaching Tier 6 will effectively eliminate the tier system on Kaua‘i, allowing businesses and events to be open at full capacity.
“Our counties are so closely connected that from a public health perspective, it makes the most sense to use the statewide vaccine average, particularly with the increase in inter-island travel,” explained Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman. “County by county differences in vaccination rates are decreasing, and we foresee this model being used by other counties to continue to loosen restrictions. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, please consider doing it now to protect yourself and our Kaua‘i ‘ohana, and to help us remain open and safe.”
Vaccination appointments are now open to residents age 12 and older, with options on weekends and evenings, including several pop-up vaccine clinics from Hanalei to Kekaha. For details, visit www.kauai.gov/vaccine.
People who are fully vaccinated and received their vaccine in the State of Hawai‘i can now use their vaccine record to travel inter-island and be exempt from Safe Travels mandatory quarantine. Travelers are considered fully vaccinated on the 15th day after the completion of their vaccine dose(s). For program rules and additional information, visit https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/faqs/.