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State clears up confusion about when to wear a mask

By Staff | Nov 27, 2020

Gov. David Ige last week ended any ambiguity about when residents and visitors are required to wear masks in Hawaii to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“All persons in the State shall wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in public,” the 15th COVID-19 emergency proclamation states.

The proclamation also specifies: “An owner or operator of any business or operation shall refuse admission or service to any individual who fails to wear a face covering, unless an exception applies under this section.”

Businesses that ignore the mandate may be subject to enforcement, including fines and mandatory closure.

With the pre-travel testing program and tourism picking up, the 15th proclamation requires all hotel operators in the state to adopt a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan for each property.

Plans must address guidance from the CDC, identify measures enacted in response to COVID-19 and what guests/employees may expect in terms of service, accommodations and safety protocols.

The proclamation makes clear that it is the responsibility of the hotel operator to accommodate guests (on or off site) who become COVID-19 positive or have been identified as a close contact of someone who is positive for COVID-19.

Hotel operators are required to submit their plan to the Hawaii Tourism Authority and publish it on their website.

And finally, the 15th COVID-19 emergency proclamation also extends the moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent until Dec. 31, 2020.

Now some good news.

Former University of Hawaii Maui College teacher and smart planning advocate Dick Mayer noted, “Maui County has been averaging LESS THAN ONE COVID-19 case each day. Compared to other parts of the country, Maui has done a great job in keeping down the number of COVID-19 cases.”

This month, he is studying if Maui’s County’s Oct. 15 tourism reopening may have an effect on the level of positive COVID-19 cases.

We’re glad to see the state and county continue to refine protective measures as travelers return to Hawaii.

And, if you need another reminder: WEAR A MASK IN PUBLIC!