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Hawaiʻi County limits indoor gatherings to 10, down from 25

A business in San Antonio posts a reminder about face masks. The city is one of a growing number of localities and states mandating that face coverings be worn in public.
Eric Gay

As COVID case counts surge statewide, Hawaiʻi County has limited the number of people who can gather indoors to 10 — down from the previous limit of 25.

The emergency rule was signed on Monday by managing director Lee Lord, as Mayor Mitch Roth is in mandatory isolation due to testing positive for COVID-19.

In a statement, the mayor encouraged residents to gather outdoors during New Year’s celebrations — adding that the county did not want to enact any more COVID-related restrictions.

As of Thursday, Hawaiʻi County has a seven-day average daily case count of 97 and a 10.9% positivity rate. Two-thirds of Big Island residents are fully vaccinated, the lowest rate of the four main counties, just behind Maui at 67%.

The Department of Health reported 3,484 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Thursday.

Oʻahu has a seven-day average daily case count of 1,460 and a positivity rate of 16.3%.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said his administration will not be shutting down businesses or limiting gathering sizes.

Blangiardi encouraged residents to receive their booster shots if they haven’t already, saying it is the best way to stay protected.

Information on vaccine and testing sites can be found at

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