Hawaii - COVID-19 Covered


Total Cases: 14,553 (October 25)
Fatalities: 212 (October 25)
  • Information on COVID-19 testing in Hawaii can be found here.
  • Mayor Caldwell announced a partnership with the state and federal governments to provide free COVID-19 testing for two weeks. (August 26) 


Essential Service Designations:

  • Governor Ige issued an executive order declaring the list of essential services includes: healthcare services and facilities; stores that sell groceries and medicine; food, beverage, cannabis production and agriculture; educational institutions; organizations that provide charitable and social services; media; gas stations and businesses needed for transportation; financial institutions; hardware and supply stores; critical trades; mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services; laundry services; restaurants for consumption off-premises; supplies to work from home; supplies for essential businesses and operations; transportation; home-based care and services; residential facilities and shelters; professional services; child care services for certain employees; manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries; critical labor union functions; hotels and motels; funeral services; and government functions. (March 23)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • The Hawaii Department of Health will enforce physical distancing requirements for food establishments across the state. Businesses that fail to comply will be forced to close. (July 10  
  • Governor Ige signed an executive order allowing out of state physicians to dispense prescriptions without registering with Hawaii officials, and permitting the Department of Human Services to relax childcare guidelines, establish an employment and training fund, relax unemployment qualifications, and expand telehealth and online notary services. (March 29) 
  • Hawaii launched the Reducing Unemployment Disruption & Driving Economic Regeneration (RUDDER) program to train unemployed individuals for government positions and reduce unemployment. (March 23) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Hawaii will begin a restaurant cash card program that provides financial support to unemployment claimants. Residents will receive $500 in pre-loaded debit cards to be spent at local restaurants. (October 2) 
  • Hawaii began to distribute Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) benefits to unemployed workers. (September 23) 
  • There will be a second round of Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) benefits allocated to children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. (September 18) 
  • Governor Ige announced a $100 million rent relief and housing assistance program for unemployed or partially unemployed workers. (September 9) 
  • Governor Ige announced that Hawaii was approved for an additional week of the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program. (September 4) 
  • Governor Ige announced that Hawaii will apply to participate in the Lost Wages Assistance Program (LWA), allowing for additional unemployment benefits. (August 26) 
  • Governor Ige made several modifications to the state legislature’s proposed budget, including changes to unemployment benefits and housing/rental assistance. (July 31) 
  • Governor Ige signed an emergency proclamation extending the previous ban on evictions. (July 20) 
  • The Hawaii Public Housing Authority announced that they are waiving minimum rents, offering face masks and hand sanitizer during the pandemic, and offering free WiFi stations. (June 19) 
  • The Hawaiian Homes Commission granted economic relief to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) Applicant Waiting List beneficiaries, lessees, licensees, and permittees on Department land. (April 21) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • The State of Hawaii launched the Hawaii Business Pivot Grant program. The program will provide small businesses with reimbursement grants to cover expenses incurred from implementing changes to their operations, products, and services due to the pandemic. (October 21) 
  • Oahu businesses and nonprofits involved in culture and the arts can now apply for reimbursable grants. (October 14) 
  • The Department of Human Services announced that there is $15 million available in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) funds to support licensed childcare programs. (October 5) 
  • Hawaii launched a program to help workers displaced by COVID-19. The program matches workers with companies in emerging industries and sectors such as conservation, renewable energy, agriculture, creative arts, aerospace, entrepreneurship, and STEM fields. (September 21) 
  • The Honolulu City Council approved a resolution that aims to provide rent relief to businesses through a grant program for landlords. (September 11) 
  • Honolulu Mayor Caldwell announced $2.6 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to help the fishing industry. (July 8) 



  • Governor Ige approved Mayor Caldwell’s order that moves Oahu into the second stage of reopening. Gyms, personal care services, and other activities can now resume. (October 23) 
  • Governor Ige signed an emergency proclamation that extends the COVID-19 emergency period through November 30.  The Maui and Kauai mayors are now approved to allow interisland travelers from Oahu to participate in the state’s pre-arrivals testing program to bypass the interisland quarantine. (October 14) 
  • Mayor Caldwell announced Oahu was on track to move to the next level of reopening in two weeks. (October 9) 
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported 24 counties are considered to be at a warning level for COVID-19: Bond, Boone, Cass, Christian, Clinton, Crawford, DeWitt, Fayette, Grundy, Hamilton, Macon, Menard, Peoria, Putnam, Washington, Wayne, and Winnebago. (September 25)  
  • Hawaii will likely reopen the state to visitors who can prove they have had a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their arrival. (September 21) 
  • Governor Ige said that he will likely delay the start of a pre-arrivals testing program to reopen tourism in Hawaii. (September 16) 
  • Mayor Caldwell extended Honolulu’s stay-at-home order with changes to allow for limited outdoor activities. (September 9) 
  • Governor Ige signed an emergency proclamation that mandates the use of masks and extends the eviction moratorium. (August 21) 
  • Governor Ige announced a delay in the resumption of trans-Pacific travel and said it will be delayed from September 1 to at least October 1. Honolulu Mayor Caldwell also announced a new order that would limit social gatherings for Oahu(August 19) 
  • Governor Ige and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell are expected to announce new restrictions this week. (August 18) 
  • Governor Ige announced that he’s looking at reestablishing a stay-at-home order and delaying the relaunch of trans-Pacific tourism. (August 14) 
  • All state forest trails in Hawaii have been closed. (August 11) 
  • All Oahu parks and beaches must close beginning Friday, August 7. (August 7) 
  • Governor Ige announced that the inter-island travel quarantine will be reinstated. The 14-day quarantine is for travelers arriving on the counties of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, Maui, and Kalawao. (August 7) 
  • Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced that indoor and outdoor social gatherings on Oahu must be limited to no more than 10 people. (August 4) 
  • Mayor Caldwell announced the three-week closure of all Oahu bars. (July 31) 
  • Governor Ige announced that the state will begin to reinstate some COVID-19 restrictions, such as closing bars, and limiting gatherings in parks(July 30) 
  • Governor Ige signed an emergency proclamation continuing the mandatory 14-day quarantine in effect for travelers entering Hawaii. (July 20) 
  • Governor Ige approved an order requiring all Oahu bars and restaurants to stop serving alcohol after midnight. (July 15)  
  • Governor Ige announced that he will delay the launch of the pre-travel testing program for incoming travelers to Hawaii. The program is now scheduled to begin on September 1. All travelers entering Hawaii before September 1 will be subject to mandatory 14-day quarantine(July 14) 
  • Starting August 1, travelers will no longer need to quarantine for 14 days if they prove they’ve tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arrival. (July 2) 
  • Governor Ige approved Hawaii County’s request to allow singing and the playing of wind instruments at indoor and outdoor restaurants and bars, with certain social distancing restrictions in place. (June 24) 
  • Governor Ige issued the 9th Supplementary Emergency Proclamation, which removes prohibitions related to beaches, boating, hiking, and shoreline fishing to the counties in coordination with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, extends criminal liability to those that host or rent cars to those violating traveler quarantine, and lifts the interisland travel quarantine. (June 10) 
  • Governor Ige approved Hawaii County’s request to reopen businesses including fitness facilities, bars, education, and care facilities, bowling alleys, arcades, museums, theatres, outdoor organized sports, and film production. Safety guidelines must be followed, and businesses can reopen beginning June 19. (June 4) 
  • New “Acting with Care” guidelines will allow commercial and recreational boating activities of up to 10 people on a vessel at one time, Commercial water sports operations of 10 or fewer people, and will reopen the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation. (June 3) 
  • Governor Ige approved rules for HawaiCounty and Kauai Countbusinesses to safely reopenThe rules and guidelines apply to places of worship, restaurants, museums, theaters, parks, real estate, personal services, exercise services, and outdoor spaces reopening. (May 28) 
  • Governor Ige has approved requests from the mayors of Oahu, Maui County, and Hawaii County to reopen some businesses, including beauty salonsbarbershopspoolscampgrounds, playgrounds, constructionrestaurants, and place of worship. The reopenings are specified to each county and include safety guidelines. (May 27) 



  • The Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) will resume providing free meals for students at 203 schools beginning October 12 through December 18. (October 14) 
  • The Hawaii Board of Education approved a set of directives, including enforcing 6 feet of physical distancing on campus, proper mask-wearing at school, and ensuring classroom ventilation to the greatest extent possible. (October 2)  
  • The Department of Health released new guidance on school reopeningsThe guidance uses metrics to determine when schools should utilize remote learning, traditional classroom instruction, or a hybrid option. (September 18) 
  • Distance learning was extended until October 2 for all public schools. Private schools were advised to use distance learning as long as possible. (August 28) 
  • The first four weeks of the public school year on Oahu will be conducted entirely online. (August 10) 
  • Governor Ige confirmed the Hawaii Department of Educations plan for classes to begin August 4. The latest reopening plan includes a range of social distancing requirements. (July 22) 
  • The Hawaii Department of Education published guidance documents stating that public schools will not reopen until there is a four-week period of no new COVID-19 cases. (April 9) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Hawaii colleges and universities planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • Hawaii Pacific University will open on August 24 with safety modifications in place for in-person classes. (July 23) 
  • The University of Hawaii released interim COVID-19 guidelines for the upcoming academic year, including requiring the use of facial coverings and conducting regular cleanings. (July 2) 

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