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Honolulu mayor extends coronavirus restrictions

Honolulu mayor extends coronavirus restrictions
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Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has extended coronavirus restrictions until the middle of March despite reports of new cases remaining low in the state the past two weeks.

“The health and safety of everyone in the City and County of Honolulu remains our top priority and I want to move us forward in a way that is deliberate and based on science,” Blangiardi said in a statement, the Star-Advertiser reported.

“Successfully minimizing the spread of this virus during occasions like Super Bowl weekend, Valentine’s Day, and beyond, is the key to getting more of Oahu back to work, school and back in the community activities we desperately need,” he added. 

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The state is currently on "Tier 2" lockdowns, meaning social distancing and masks are required, only five people from the same household can go out to eat together and indoor facilities like gyms can only operate at 25 percent capacity. 

The restrictions are set to be relaxed by March 15, although that date could change depending on how cases look in the state in the upcoming weeks. 

Some states have already begun to lift restrictions, with Montana getting rid of mask requirements altogether, against health officials' advisement. 

Many are hoping the coronavirus vaccines will be the key to allowing the country to open back up. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already said those who have the vaccine are no longer under the same quarantine rules as those without it, although Hawaii is waiting for more information from the agency before changing its quarantine rules for travelers to the state. 

Hawaii has seen more than 26,000 cases and more than 400 deaths from the coronavirus.