Ige says state is taking ‘cautious’ approach as more businesses plan to reopen

Ige says state is taking ‘cautious’ approach as more businesses plan to reopen
Retail businesses on Oahu were allowed to begin reopening on Friday, and many did so — with a slew of new restrictions. Others waited, still putting together plans to help minimize the risk of coronavirus. (Source: Jonathan Saupe/Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The governor on Thursday urged residents to prepare for a moderate uptick in COVID-19 cases as the state continues to reopen in a “cautious” way.

“Our community is healthy and able to look at the next steps ... because of each and every one of us taking personal responsibility,” Gov. David Ige said, in a news conference at the state Capitol building.

He added, "We are being measured and cautious.”

Under a four-phase recovery plan, the governor wants all “medium-risk” businesses in Hawaii — including restaurants and hair salons — to be given the green light to reopen by early June.

And on Oahu, restaurants have already been told they will be able to reopen on June 5.

But on the Neighbor Islands, they’re opening under a more aggressive timeline approved by the governor.

In Maui County, for example, barber shops and salons are being allowed to reopen Monday with social distancing guidelines in place and customers wearing masks.

And on Kauai, where there hasn’t been a new COVID-19 case in more than a month, some medium-risk businesses are reopening Friday.

Hawaii saw four new COVID-19 cases on Thursday — three on the Big Island and one on Maui.

And in the last two weeks, the state has seen just 21 new cases.

The low number of new infections has prompted broadening conversations about how to reboot the state’s economy — left crippled by the shutdown.

This story will be updated.

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