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Oʻahu Summer Fun Program will require keiki to wear face masks indoors

Keiki and staff at Kualoa Regional Park
Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation
Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation
Keiki and staff at Kualoa Regional Park

The Honolulu Summer Fun Program will require keiki to wear facial coverings while indoors or in program vehicles, the city announced Tuesday.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi says the move is a precautionary measure as new COVID cases continue to rise in the state.

The program will still return to full capacity on June 6. Operated by the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation, the program serves roughly 9,000 keiki.

Department spokesperson Nathan Serota says the city considered several factors when reinstating the requirement.

"First and foremost is the safety of the kids and the staff at the program. The rise in case counts that we’ve been seeing across the state was certainly a cause for looking at the protocols and reinstituting this indoor mask policy. Also, a lot of our summer fun sites actually are held at Department of Education schools. and they’ve already instituted a similar mask policy. So we wanted to have consistency across all of our sites and all of our programs," Serota said.

While keiki will need to wear masks, adults do not. But Serota says the department is working with union representatives regarding a similar facial covering requirement for employees.

The city said it apologizes for the change in protocol after many families registered their keiki under the previous voluntary mask policy.

"Full refunds will be made available to parents who wish to remove their keiki from Summer Fun as a result of this policy change. All refund requests must be received by an authorized Summer Fun employee prior to the beginning of the program period on Monday, June 6, 2022," the city said.

More information about the summer fun program can be found here.

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