Kauai mayor: County will roll back to Tier 3 amid rise in COVID cases

Kauai mayor says he’s planning to roll county back into Tier 3 amid rise in COVID cases

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami says he plans to roll the county back into Tier 3 of its reopening plan Thursday amid a rise in COVID-19 cases.

“The number of cases and positivity rate does warrant us to roll back into Tier 3, which we will be proposing to the governor to do,” Kawakami said, in an interview Tuesday on HNN Sunrise.

Kawakami added that he’s looking at “fine tuning” the tiers to encourage people to use outdoor spaces instead of indoors.

Currently, Tier 3 caps indoor and outdoor social gatherings at 10 people and youth sports would not be allowed.

But Kawakami said he’s looking at limiting indoor gatherings to five people.

“We’re looking at indoor social gatherings sizes of five to hopefully encourage people that if they’re going to gather, they should try to gather outside and, of course, mask wearing is great way to prevent the spread of any type of virus that’s spread through respiratory droplets,” Kawakami said.

Despite Kauai seeing zero hospitalizations, he said people should be cautiously optimistic and understand that it doesn’t take much for hospitals to become overrun.

“Right now it is very low, which is always a good sign, but by the time you have situations in our hospitals, many times the fire is burning out of control, so we take these positive cases as a sign of smoke that there may be potential fire and we work as fast as we can to sort of contain the outbreaks and be able to get those patients under treatments that’s available on the island before the situation gets dire,” he said.

Kawakami said he’s not looking at restricting travel, but is instead focusing on targeted areas to contain the community spread.

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