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With cases at record highs, DOH urges mayors to impose New Year’s restrictions

The state Health Department is urging county mayors to impose more controls on New Year’s Eve gatherings.
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 3:26 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 28, 2021 at 4:26 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Health Department is urging county mayors to impose more controls on New Year’s Eve gatherings.

They fear revelers will add fuel to the already out of control surge of COVID infections.

The DOH is recommending that counties limit indoor gatherings and are also urging residents to practice social distancing and use masks.

There are a record 14,000 active COVID cases statewide.

“We are advocating some kind of restrictions for New Year’s Eve that can help reduce transmissions and therefore reduce hospitalizations and perhaps death,” said DOH spokesman Brooks Baehr.

“We’ve heard a lot about personal responsibility but that alone we don’t think is adequate.”

Until recently, the state would impose such rules.

But the governor has given that power to the counties. And so far, only the Big Island has reduced gathering sizes.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Health is investigating an outbreak of COVID cases linked with the Hawaii’s Finest Music Festival at Bishop Museum on Dec. 17 and 18.

The DOH has not specified how many cases are linked to this cluster, which also includes an after party at Moani’s Waikiki, but is encouraging anyone who attended the events to get tested.

And the surge is also prompting cancelations.

Hawaii Theater is rescheduling three shows from now through next month because of COVID.

Tom Segura’s tour on New Year’s Eve, Ron Artis on New Year’s Day and Na Maka o Pu’uwai Aloha on Jan. 21 to 23 are all postponed. All tickets will be honored for the new dates.

“The Green” is also postponing its concerts at Blue Note Hawaii after band members contracted COVID.

The event, which was scheduled for Wednesday through Jan. 2, will now be held in March.

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