Hawaii mayors pushing for tighter restrictions to combat Covid-19

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Leaders of local jurisdictions in Hawaii are considering stricter health and safety regulations and asking for permission from the state to reinstate expired measures as the Aloha State continues its fight against the spread of coronavirus.

Mayor of Maui County Michael Victorino announced he has formally requested Gov. David Ige revive a 14-day quarantine for interisland travelers. The quarantine currently only applies to trans-Pacific arrivals after the interisland program ended June 16.

The moves come after Hawaii set a record for new infections in a single day last week, with 73 new cases reported on July 25. While Hawaii has one of the lowest infection rates in the country, the numbers have been rising as the state has gradually rolled back restrictions on businesses, public activity and travel. The vast majority of the state's cases, roughly 80%, have been reported on Oahu.

"We're concerned that this relatively high level of cases is persisting on Oahu," state health director Bruce Anderson said in a statement. "Some of the cases we're reporting today are associated with existing clusters, known cases and household spread, but others are new, unassociated cases that indicate increasing community spread."

Noting the increase in infections on the island, Honolulu mayor Kirk Caldwell said during a July 28 press conference that he has asked the governor for permission to close bars again for a three-week period. Restaurants serving liquor would be allowed to continue operating and serve alcohol until midnight. Caldwell also wants to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people and tighten the current mask regulations to require everyone on Oahu wear facial coverings everywhere, indoors and outdoors, unless they are at home or can stay more than 6 feet away from all other people.

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