Coronavirus Updates

Kawakami Looks to Repeal County’s COVID Tier System

By Tiffany DeMasters

Posted October 8, 2021, 11:58 AM HST

Mayor Derek SK Kawakami is awaiting the governorʻs approval for a new emergency rule that would repeal Kauaʻi County’s COVID-19 tier system while maintaining statewide restrictions and guidelines for professionally organized events.

In July 2021, Gov. David Ige approved Kawakami’s request to institute a tier system of safety restrictions based on the number of coronavirus cases on the island average over the past week.

Prior to the arrival of the Delta variant, Kawakami said, the hope was to end COVID-19 restrictions once 70% of Hawaiʻi residents were fully vaccinated.

“However, due to the highly contagious nature of the Delta variant, it is clear that certain restrictions must remain in place,” the mayor said in a COVID-19 briefing update video.

Kawakami said Kauaʻi County will continue to enforce state rules on travel, face coverings, social gathering sizes, business capacity limits and other statewide mandates.

County officials continue to observe gathering size restrictions for professionally organized events for 40 indoors and 100 outdoors. Event organizers wishing to exceed those capacity limits must ensure proof of vaccination or negative COVID test result.

Any event over 50 people, Kawakami stated, must submit event information to the Kauaʻi Emergency Management Agency here.

“Organizers are responsible for knowing and complying with the rules,” the mayor said. “These rules help to stop COVID-19 in our community and allowing all of us to continue daily activities, keep our businesses open and our hospitals running and our keiki safe.”

According to the Hawaiʻi Department of Health, Kauaʻi has seven new cases. As of Thursday, the county had 130 active cases, with seven hospitalized.

According to the Kauaʻi District Health Office, officials are monitoring several active clusters: three restaurants, two places of worship, two educational settings, two occupational settings and one travel/lodging/tourism setting.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Kauai Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat. Tiffany is an award-winning journalist, receiving recognition from the Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists. Tiffany grew up on the Big Island and is passionate about telling the community’s stories.
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