Governor to visitors: Stay away as Hawaii sees surge in COVID cases, hospitalizations

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 1:48 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 23, 2021 at 4:54 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The governor is urging visitors to reschedule upcoming travel to Hawaii as the state struggles to respond to a COVID surge that’s threatening to overwhelm hospitals.

He also said that a lockdown “is on the table” if infection rates don’t decline.

“It is not a good time to travel to the islands. I encourage everyone to restrict and curtail travel to Hawaii,” Gov. David Ige said, at a news conference Monday. “Is a lockdown on the table? Yes, it would be if the number of cases continues to grow exponentially as it has in the last 10 weeks ... then we will have to take action to limit and ensure that the hospitals aren’t overrun.”

He added that he doesn’t have a specific trigger for when a stay-at-home might be imposed.

“We are in contact with the hospitals every single day about their current situation of the number of patients they are seeing and about their capacity to continue to serve our community,” he said.

The governor’s remarks come as the state grapples with rapid community spread of the Delta variant. Skyrocketing COVID counts are already straining Hawaii hospitals and ICUs are nearing capacity.

Despite the situation, the governor stopped short of announcing any new restrictions Monday.

Earlier this month, he announced new caps on social gatherings and capacity restrictions for restaurants, bars, gyms and other social establishments.

Earlier on Monday, Oahu’s mayor instituted a new ban on all large organized gatherings, including weddings, funerals and conventions.

The order cancels scores of events that were planned for Oahu this month.

This story will be updated.

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