With triple-digit case spikes, Mayor Blangiardi focuses on how to move the city forward

Updated: Jan. 9, 2021 at 5:31 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Despite the steady increase in cases, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said the island will remain in Tier 2 for now.

Oahu’s current 7-day average daily cases is 124 and a 4.-4 percent.

Blangiardi said the tier system will remain in place, but he has no interest in issuing a lockdown or reverting back to tier one.

“Right now we’re in tier two,” said Blangiardi. “As I said earlier, my focus is on how we get to tier three and beyond.”

The mayor said he met with the medical advisory group which includes the State Department of Health for the first time on Thursday.

On that same day, 213 COVID cases were reported on Oahu with a statewide total over 300.

“For the first time that I was meeting with these doctors as mayor on a day the number jumped to 322 it just wasn’t the appropriate setting,” said Blangiardi. “We talked about a lot of other things to have that conversation so I’ve asked for a little bit of patience because as I said, it’s a fluid situation but I want to respond and not react.”

“So Governor Ige and Director Char are in constant communication,” said Brooks Baehr, spokesperson for DOH. “We have new leadership with Mayor Blangiardi already at City Hall and he is already taking a good long, hard look at what’s going on.”

“And we will continue to share our thoughts and our advice with them.”

And being proactive rather than reactive is an approach Councilwoman Andria Tupola is hoping for.

“And let’s make tiers that are based upon how we can help to prevent the spread, and not necessarily jerking and tweaking and pulling at the different community entities where everyone is trying to survive through this,” said Tupola.

Under the current system, if cases average over 100 in the next two weeks, Oahu would scale back to tier 1.

Among the new restrictions with a move to tier 1 include restaurants only accepting parties of 5 from the same household and gyms and fitness facilities being forced to close indoor operations.

Blangiardi said discussions with the medical advisory group regarding modifications to the tier system has been tabled for the next two weeks.

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