Hawaii keeps indoor mask requirement amid COVID-19 surge

July 16, 2021 GMT

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Thursday he will maintain a requirement that people wear masks indoors as the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant fuels a spike in cases.

Ige told a news conference the number of new cases in Hawaii has exceeded 100 during three of the last five days. That contrasts to the past couple of months when the seven-day average of new hovered around 50.

Hawaii has not recorded an increase in hospitalizations or deaths at this point, he said.

The governor said the overwhelming number of people contracting the coronavirus are unvaccinated, and he urged those who are eligible to get their shots.

Hawaii has one of the highest vaccination rates among the 50 states. So far 65% of the population has received one shot and 58.9% have been fully vaccinated.

Ige has said he will keep the state’s mask mandate in place until 70% of the population is vaccinated.