Governor issues statewide ‘stay-at-home’ order

  • IGE

Gov. David Ige announced Monday that he has signed a supplementary emergency proclamation ordering residents statewide to stay at home through April 30 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proclamation, which goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, orders residents to stay at home or in their lodging, leaving “only for essential activities or to engage in the essential businesses and operations” identified in the order, and to maintain social distancing requirements “to the fullest extent possible.”

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Those who can work at home are also ordered to do so.

Violation of the order is considered a misdemeanor under the law and anyone convicted of violating the order can be sentenced to a year in jail or fined up to $5,000, or both.

“These actions are extreme but necessary for us to flatten the curve and lay the groundwork for our recovery,” Ige said in a news conference at the capitol. “The threat of COVID-19 is unprecedented.”

He said the order would be enforced at first with warnings, but fines could follow.

“We do understand that a stay-at-home order has never been implemented in our communities,” Ige said. “We do know that enforcement will be a challenge.

“I would like to say that when we first announced these actions the compliance has been overwhelming.”

Businesses identified as essential include: health-care services and facilities; pharmacies; grocery stores and other retailers of food; restaurants for off-premises consumption only; transportation; gas stations and other business essential for transportation; educational facilities; financial institutions; media outlets; telecommunication facilities; hotels; hardware and construction supply and contractors; charitable organizations; laundry services; funeral homes and crematories; critical government services such as police, fire, rescue, emergency medical services, courts and correctional facilities; professional services such as lawyers and accountants; residential facilities and shelters; child-care providers; and manufacturers of equipment and supplies deemed critical.

People can leave their homes to work, shop for groceries and essential items, and see health-care professionals.

Any gathering of more than 10 individuals is prohibited.

Facilities ordered closed under the proclamation include: fitness centers and gyms; locations with amusement rides; carnivals; water parks; aquariums; zoos; museums; arcades; fairs; children’s play centers; playgrounds; funplexes; theme parks; bowling alleys; movie and other theaters; concert and music halls; and social clubs.

Social distancing requirements are in effect, and people “shall maintain a minimum of six-feet of physical separation from all other persons to the fullest extent possible.”

“Essential businesses and operations shall designate with signage, tape, or by other means, six-foot spacing for employees and customers in line to maintain appropriate distance,” the proclamation states.

Essential businesses and operations are required to make hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers.

Essential businesses and operations also are required to implement separate operating hours for elderly and high-risk customers. High risk persons, including those who are sick, are urged to stay in their residence to the extent possible except as necessary to seek medical care.

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The homeless “must comply with the social distancing requirements to the fullest extent possible and are strongly urged to obtain shelter. Governmental and other entities are strongly urged to make such shelter available as soon as possible and to the maximum extent practicable and to use in their operation COVID-19 risk mitigation practices recommended by the CDC.”

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.