As Easter celebrations move into full swing, DOH advises small and virtual gatherings

As Easter celebrations move into full swing, DOH advises small and virtual gatherings
DOH advises to mask up and social distance when celebrating the Easter holiday. (Source: Cerrese Esteron)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - As Hawaii residents plan to celebrate the Easter holiday, the state Department of Health is advising everyone to follow COVID health and safety guidelines.

Health officials said the safest way to observe Easter is to limit celebrations to the people you live with or to celebrate virtually.

If people plan to have in-person celebrations with those outside of their immediate household, the DOH advises that celebrations should be held outdoors and guests should remain 6 feet apart.

DOH said holiday traditions like Easter egg hunts can still happen as long as they are held outside and those involved are wearing masks and following social distancing.

The health department also encourages people to attend religious services virtually.

However, after Holy Week celebrations were canceled last year due to the pandemic, many of Hawaii’s Catholic parishes are expecting large crowds for Saturday and Sunday Easter services.

“It’s always a risk, but Easter is such an important day in our life as Christians,” said Bishop Larry Silva of the Diocese of Honolulu. “I think we can take some bigger risks. There are risks, but I think they are calculated risks, and we still are going to make sure we distance, mask, sanitize and so on.”

Silva said some churches will also be setting up tents outside and adding extra services to reduce crowding.

“They have lanais they are able to use. Some have parish halls for overflow crowds that they can put in the hall and livestream and parishioners can receive communion,” he said.

The bishop advises that people at higher risk of contracting COVID should remain home and view services online.

For more information on how to gather safely for the Easter holiday, click here.

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