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Growing COVID-19 Cases Cause State to Limit Gathering Sizes Once Again

Noe Tanigawa
Hawai'i Public Radio

Due to the high COVID-19 case numbers, Gov. David Ige announced new limits on gathering sizes and business capacities across the state — effective immediately.

The case count in Hawaiʻi is doubling every seven to 10 days. The state reported 436 new cases Tuesday, 437 on Monday and 643 cases this past Sunday.

"We are seeing transmission and clusters from people going to work, attending social gatherings, going to restaurants when they are sick — we need to take action and we need to take action now," Ige said at a press conference.

The new executive order calls for no more than 10 people in a group when gathering indoors, and 25 people in a group when gathering outdoors. Previously, the limits were 25 people indoors and 75 people outdoors.

Restaurants, bars, and gyms can stay open but they must operate at 50% capacity, Ige announced.

If a venue or a wedding coordinator wants to hold an event larger than 50 people, they must notify their county’s agents for review and mitigation.

Police enforcement of these rules will be increased, Ige said. The indoor mask mandate also remains.

There will be no changes to the Safe Travels program. Ige said the infection rate from out-of-state travelers is low, at 1% to 2% — returning residents make up the bulk of travel-related cases.

As thousands of students returned to classrooms last week, the state Department of Education said in-person learning also remains unchanged.

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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