Hawaii Reports No New COVID-19 Cases as Businesses Begin Reopening

In this Friday, March 20, 2020, file photo, as beachgoers are seen in the background, yellow caution tape wrapped across Waikiki in Honolulu. Hawaii's governor has instituted a mandatory 14-day self quarantine starting Thursday, March 27, of all people traveling to the state as part of efforts to fight the …
AP Photo/Marco Garcia

For the first time in eight weeks, Hawaii has reported no new statewide cases of COVID-19, leaving the total case count since the beginning of the pandemic at 629.

The last time the tropical state reported no new cases of the coronavirus was earlier this year on March 13.

“We have seen a steady decline in new cases over the past several weeks. Although today we’re at zero, we want to maintain these declines,” said Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist.

“As businesses reopen, as people become more active and travel more freely, we will inevitably see more cases,” Park added, warning that travel to the mainland also creates a risk.

Hawaii, which had reported double-digit case increases in late March and early April, has witnessed its new daily case count remain under ten for three weeks.

While residents of Hawaii remain socially distanced and take precautions like wearing face coverings, some businesses have began to reopen. On Thursday, retail stores and shopping malls were allowed to reopen on the Big Island and Kauai. Those same types of businesses will be allowed to reopen in Maui on Monday and Oahu on May 15.

While certain businesses in Hawaii have been given the green light to reopen, restaurants will have to continue offering takeout orders and barbershops, nail salons, and bars will remain closed for the time being.

Hawaii’s unemployment rate sits at around 35 percent, the highest in the nation. Before the pandemic, Hawaii’s unemployment rate was among the lowest in the nation at three percent.

As of Friday, there have been 629 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Hawaii with 17 deaths as a result.

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