HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige announced today the statewide indoor mask requirement will end when the current emergency proclamation related to COVID-19 expires at 11:59 p.m., Mar. 25.
“Together, we have reduced COVID-19 in Hawai‘i to the point where most of us will be safe without masks indoors,” said Gov. Ige. “Right now, hospitalizations are trending down. Case counts are falling. We are better at treating people who are infected. Booster shots are saving lives. And the CDC has rated the state’s COVID-19 community level as “low”. However, the state will be ready to reinstitute the mask policy if COVID case numbers surge.”
“We have been tracking the data and studying trends for weeks and support this move,” said State Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char, FACEP. “Masks are still an important tool in preventing transmission of COVID-19. We strongly recommend people over age 65, people with compromised immune systems, people who aren’t vaccinated, and those who care for people at risk of severe illness still wear masks indoors. This is especially important in crowded settings.”
“We continue to recommend masks be worn in classrooms, at least for the time being. We are no longer recommending quarantine for students who are exposed to COVID-19 at school. Masks provide a layer of protection as we amend the school quarantine guidance,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble.
Settings where masks are still recommended indoors include:
• Hospitals and health care facilities
• Long term care facilities
• Correctional facilities
• Other congregate living settings
“Masks should be considered by anyone who is indoors with people whose vaccination status is unknown. Simple prevention practices will keep us moving in the right direction,” Char said.
• Consider masks where vaccination status unknown.
• Stay up to date on vaccinations and booster shots.
• Get tested if you feel sick, are a close contact, before and after travel or getting together with others.
• Stay home if sick.
• Wash hands frequently.
Find information on COVID-19 vaccines and tests at www.hawaiicovid19.com