HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - One year ago Thursday, a statewide stay-at-home order went into effect, upending daily life in Hawaii.
Businesses and schools were closed. Tens of thousands were laid off. And tourism all but stopped.
Here’s a look at what happened:
- March 23, 2020: Gov. David Ige signs a statewide shutdown order to go into effect two days later. “If you need to get groceries, and necessities, you should go and get groceries and necessities. For any other time, you should be at home,” Ige said, in announcing the order.
- March 26, 2020: State’s 14-day travel quarantine began, shutting down Hawaii’s tourism industry and shattering the state economy.
- March 30, 2020, the first Hawaii resident dies from COVID-19. Verna Onomura, of Pearl City, contracted COVID after a trip to Las Vegas with her sister.
- April 2020: Then-Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell extends the city’s stay-at-home order through May 18, but eases restrictions in some areas, including on retail and outdoor recreation.
- April 14, 2020: The city makes it mandatory to wear masks in public.
- May 5, 2020: Gov. David Ige eases restrictions with his “safer-at-home” order.
- June 16, 2020: An inter-island quarantine is lifted, only to be put in place again when infections skyrocketed in late July and early August.
- Aug. 27, 2020: The city institutes another lockdown for Oahu. It was supposed to last two weeks, but was extended through Sept. 23.
- September 2020: Oahu’s tier system is introduced and goes into effect Sept. 24.
- October 2020: After months with almost no visitors, the state opens its Safe Travels program on Oct. 15, allowing trans-Pacific travelers to skip quarantine if they test negative for COVID.
- Dec. 15, 2020: The first COVID vaccine is administered in Hawaii. The state begins its vaccination rollout shortly after, focusing on healthcare workers and long-term care residents.
- Feb. 25, 2021: As infections decline, the city moves into Tier 3 for the first time, allowing restrictions to ease in many areas.
Today, about 1 in 4 residents on Oahu is vaccinated and the rollout continues.
But health experts stress that Hawaii isn’t out of the woods yet, and that residents should still take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.