Governor wants to close bars again, limit gatherings to rein in COVID-19 surge

Governor Ige says he is working with county mayors to limit the size of gatherings

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The governor on Wednesday said he is working with Hawaii’s mayors to look at closing bars again, limit gatherings on beaches and keep them to 10 or fewer people.

There was no immediate timeline on when the new restrictions would take effect.

At a news conference Wednesday, Gov. David Ige said he wants to reinstate some of the mandates that had been relaxed in recent months in a bid to rein in a surge in new COVID-19 cases in the islands.

“We need to take action to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Ige said.

“We all must redouble our efforts to take personal responsibility. We know that we can only be successful in fighting COVID-19 together as a community.”

Honolulu’s mayor has proposed a three-week shutdown of bars, a limit on social gatherings and new rules that would further strengthen Oahu’s mask mandate. Those proposals require Ige’s approval.

Some 109 new cases were reported statewide on Wednesday, including 98 on Oahu. That’s a single-day record and the first time Hawaii has seen a triple digit increase in 24 hours.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green said cases are surging as people put their guards down, and he urged people to redouble their efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

He said many clusters are linked to parties and celebrations.

“One spark starts a fire,” Green said. “When we make a plea to you to only be in small social gatherings, we’re doing it because we don’t want our health care system to be overwhelmed. Wear a darn mask when you’re outside of your home and don’t go out in big groups.”

This story will be updated.

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