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Mayor Blangiardi Opposes Going Back To Tier 2, Will Have To Amend City's Emergency Order

AP Photo/Caleb Jones

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi re-emphasized that he is "dead set against" rolling O?ahu back to Tier 2 restrictions, and he is discussing possible amendments to the city's reopening plan to keep the island in Tier 3.

This is despite an uptick in new reported cases for the island in recent weeks, which would move O?ahu back to Tier 2 under the current framework. The city's seven-day average between March 25 and 31 stood at 58 with a positivity rate of 2.2%. Under the reopening guidelines, the city can stay in Tier 3 with weekly averages between 20-49 and a positivity rate of under 2%.

Blangiardi during a Monday morning news conference said he is new reported cases and hospitalizations have remained relatively low, and he is encouraged by the county's vaccination numbers. But he maintains the current tier system does not reflect where O?ahu is now.

"I think that our case counts when they were set was in a very different [set] of determinations when they constructed the tiers," he said. "There are a lot of assumptions there that we wouldn't even have a vaccine -- if we had a vaccine, it's late summer, early fall. We're well past 800,000 vaccinations already administered."

Blangiardi says he's asked to modify the city's tiered system so a weekly average of 50-100 cases and a positivity rate of 2.5% would be Tier 3 -- instead of Tier 2.

"I do want to come down on the side of not only business, but good community behavior. And ask for everybody's cooperation, and wear your mask and distancing, and let's just get on with our lives."

Ige on Monday afternoon stated Honolulu's current emergency order relies on average weekly case numbers. And in order for the island to stay in Tier 3, Blangiardi would have to amend and submit a new emergency order.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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