Hawaii Governor Urges Tourists To Stay Away Amid Covid Wave

Faced with a wave of Covid-19 cases straining hospitals, Governor David Ige of Hawaii has asked tourists to stay away. “Now is not the ...

Faced with a wave of Covid-19 cases straining hospitals, Governor David Ige of Hawaii has asked tourists to stay away.

“Now is not the right time to travel to the islands,” he said. “Visitors who choose to come to the island will not have the kind of typical vacation they expect when visiting Hawaii.”

The governor’s remarks came at a press conference Monday after the island of Oahu said it was placing tighter restrictions on gatherings.

As of August 25, indoor gatherings of more than 10 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 25 people on Oahu are prohibited, Mayor Rick Glangiardi said. The new rule will remain in place for at least 28 days and will affect all events, including those that are professionally organized, a change from previous restrictions.

“We really thought we were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” Blangiardi said at a press conference. “But over the past few weeks cases have increased and the Delta variant has proven to be more than formidable.”

The governor said he fully supports the measures taken by Oahu.

Since July 1, Hawaii has seen a sharp increase in the number of new cases. The wave peaked at 729 new infections on August 19, more than double the number the state had at its previous high last fall, according to a New York Times database. In the past two weeks, new cases have increased 37% in Honolulu County and hospitalizations have more than doubled.

Mr Blangiardi said that after lengthy conversations with state health officials and healthcare providers, it was determined that large gatherings were the main cause of the rapid community spread recently.

The restrictions mean sporting events at the University of Hawaii will go without spectators and major concerts at the Waikiki Shell will be canceled. The mayor said people could still hold weddings, funerals and luaus, provided they respect crowd limits. Restaurants will continue to operate at 50% and youth sports will be able to end their seasons as long as parents sprawl out onto the courts as spectators.

Hawaii was the last state to expand vaccines to all adults in April, and only 55% of the state is fully vaccinated. During Monday’s press conference, officials expressed concern about low vaccination rates in Oahu and the large number of young men and women with Covid-19 in intensive care units on the island.

Dr James Ireland, chief of emergency medical services for Honolulu, said that over the past two weeks, hospitals on the island have seen a net increase of 10 to 14 patients per day. He warned that hospitals “very, very soon” would not have the capacity to take care of patients and that emergency services were almost “on maximum”.

Although large gatherings appear to be the cause of the current spread, officials have stressed that the best way to fight the virus is to get vaccinated. According to the Hawaii Department of Health, the highly contagious Delta variant, which is more dangerous for those who are not vaccinated, now accounts for 93% of the state’s Covid-19 infections.

“This is the way out of it,” Dr Ireland said. “Vaccinations”.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Hawaii Governor Urges Tourists To Stay Away Amid Covid Wave
Hawaii Governor Urges Tourists To Stay Away Amid Covid Wave
Newsrust - US Top News
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