LIST: Cancellations, closures mount as Hawaii seeks to stop spread of virus

A medical worker talks to a person in their car outside an Urgent Care Hawaii medical clinic...
A medical worker talks to a person in their car outside an Urgent Care Hawaii medical clinic March 13, 2019, in Pearl City, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)(Marco Garcia | AP)
Published: Mar. 18, 2020 at 11:59 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A flurry of events locally and nationally have been canceled amid growing efforts to prevent the broader spread of the coronavirus.

This list is far from exhaustive, but it’s meant to offer a scale and scope of the impacts to communities.

[If you have a cancellation you’d like to share with the HNN newsroom, send us an email.]

Are schools and universities cancelling class?

Many universities and schools are changing their schedules to prevent students from gathering in large groups. One major example: Public schools have extended spring break by a week.

For a growing list of changes, click here.

Can I still go to a house of worship?

Places of worship have dramatically altered how they delivered services, with many choosing to go online rather than to encourage people to gather in person. Here’s a look at some of the changes:

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has canceled all gatherings, including public worship services, until further notice.
  • Kawaiahao Church has closed its doors to the public and is delivering services online.
  • Kailua United Methodist Church is now holding worship online only.
  • Our Savior Lutheran Church in Aiea is also taking its worship services online.
  • The Catholic Diocese of Honolulu has canceled most large gatherings through the month, including Mass. Sunday services will be livestreamed online.

Are any attractions or retailers closing?

Closures of attractions have been mounting as communities practice “social distancing.” Here’s a list:

  • Waikiki Aquarium (closing indefinitely)
  • Hawaiian Mission Houses (closing until at least March 31)
  • Iolani Palace (closed starting March 18)
  • Aloha Stadium (starting Wednesday afternoon)
  • Wet 'n' Wild Hawaii (through March 30)
  • Pearl Harbor National Memorial (closed indefinitely)
  • Hanauma Bay, Blaisdell Center and other city facilities (click here for more details)
  • Ice Palace (closed indefinitely)
  • Sea Life Park (closed indefinitely)
  • The Polynesian Cultural Center (closed through April 30)
  • Tours to Kalaupapa National Historical Park (suspended until April 11)
  • The Kapiolani Community College Farmers Market (closed)
  • The Leahi Farmers Market (closed)
  • Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center (closed through March 30)
  • Mauna Kea Visitor Center (closed)
  • Portions of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park remain open, including trails and overlooks. But guided tours and events have been canceled. The Kilauea visitor center is closed, but rangers and volunteers are available to answer questions at the visitor center’s outdoor lanai between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Hawaiian Humane Society (appointment only Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

Retailers have also announced disruptions:

  • Windward Mall is changing its hours. The new hours will be Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
  • Pearlridge Center is adjusting its hours. The mall will be open from Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Ala Moana Center is modifying its hours. Monday through Saturdays, they will operate between noon and 7 p.m. On Sundays, shops will close at 6 p.m.
  • Royal Hawaiian Center is reducing its hours, and will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the tech giant is closing retail stores in the U.S. until March 27. Other tech companies, including Microsoft stores, have followed suit.
  • Walmart is cutting back store hours. Stores usually open 24/7 are now open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Starbucks, McDonald’s and other eateries have switched to take-out or delivery only.
  • The Spaghetti Factory is closing all of its eateries nationwide through April 2.
  • Macy’s, Inc. announced it will temporarily close all stores, including all Macy’s and Bloomingdales. Other retailers that are closing: Nordstrom, Sephora and Bath & Body Works.
  • For more on disruptions to retailers, click here.
  • 24 Hour Fitness is also closing gyms nationwide. So are a number of smaller gym facilities.

How are agencies that serve the elderly reacting?

Senior centers, care homes and hospitals are modifying their visitor policies or closing day programs to prevent the spread of the virus, especially among vulnerable populations.

For example, Lanakila Multi-purpose Senior Center, which serves about 1,500 seniors, closed Tuesday for an indefinite period of time. Other day programs have also announced closures.

What events have been canceled so far in Hawaii?

The list of canceled events is long ― and began with the cancellation of the Honolulu Festival earlier this month. Here’s a look at some of the significant events that have been called off or put on hold:

  • Lea Salonga concert (postponed to Oct. 23 and Oct. 24)
  • Neighborhood board meetings and most other community meetings (canceled)
  • First Hawaiian Auto Show (canceled)
  • Aloha Stadium events, including the swap meet (suspended)
  • The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific — or Punchbowl — is open for interment services and visitation, but all ceremonies are postponed through April.
  • Lantern Floating Hawaii on Memorial Day (canceled)
  • Diana Ross concert (canceled)
  • Passport Fair at Kailua Public Library (canceled)
  • Mid-Pacific Road Runners Club Windward Half Marathon (canceled, but will host a virtual race)
  • Kaimuki High School Foundation fundraiser dinner (canceled)
  • East Honolulu Food and Wine Festival (canceled)
  • Prince Kuhio Parade and Hoolaulea in Kapolei (postponed)
  • Kona Brewers Festival (postponed)
  • Assets School’s Illuminations Gala (canceled)
  • Hawaii Red Cross Heroes Breakfast (postponed)
  • Taiko Festival by Pacific Buddhist Academy (canceled)
  • HYSA member leagues and clubs (canceled through March 31)
  • Merrie Monarch Festival (canceled)
  • Kamehameha Schools Song Contest (postponed)
  • Mariah Carey concert (postponed until Nov. 28)
  • All University of Hawaii sporting events (canceled)
  • International Studies Association Convention (canceled)
  • St. Patrick’s Day block party in Downtown Honolulu (canceled)
  • Several popular farmers markets (on hold for now)
  • Valley Isle Keiki Fest 2020 (canceled)
  • Maui Matsuri Japanese Festival (canceled)
  • Noodle Fest at Victoria Ward Park (canceled)
  • Festival of the Pacific Arts & Culture (postponed)
  • Prince Kuhio Parade and Hoolaulea in Kapolei (postponed)
  • Hapalua half-marathon (postponed)
  • All private parties, classes and other programs at Kauai County parks, with some exceptions (canceled for 60 days starting March 16)
  • Iolani Fair (canceled)
  • Hawaii Kai Carnival (canceled)
  • Girl Scouts Women of Distinction Dinner (canceled)
  • AYSO local and national programs (suspended)
  • Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair (canceled)
  • Lavaman Triathlon in Waikoloa (canceled)
  • Waikiki Spam Jam (canceled)

Given the long list of changes, it’s a good idea to check to make sure an event is still on before heading out the door. If you have an event update, you’d like to share, click here.

Are large events nationally also being canceled?

A host of events have been suspended or canceled. They include:

  • The Masters (postponed)
  • NASCAR races (canceled)
  • Boston Marathon (postponed)
  • Coachella (postponed)
  • SXSW (cancellation)
  • StageCoach (postponed)
  • Broadway shows (shutting down indefinitely)
  • NBA and NHL season (suspended)
  • PGA Tour (canceled)
  • MLB (start of season delayed)
  • March Madness (canceled)

Are health officials discouraging people from gathering in large crowds?

The CDC has urged people not to gather in groups of 50 people or more, while the White House says gatherings could not exceed 10 people.

Those at highest risk of severe symptoms from the virus are the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.

This story will be updated.

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