Hawaii Gov. David Ige

HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige signed a third supplementary proclamation Monday, ordering the entire state to stay at home and work from home starting at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, March 25, through April 30. Essential workers are exempt.

The action complements orders issued by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino over the weekend.

“The threat of COVID-19 is unprecedented and requires aggressive action,” said Ige. “I have been in discussions with our county mayors, who are developing their own plans to meet the unique needs of their counties. We also agree that a statewide order is necessary for cohesion and consistency.”

To ensure that the state continues to provide essential, core services, there are exemptions in the following categories: Healthcare services, grocery stores and pharmacies, food production and farming, public and private schools, restaurants offering take-out services, hotels and motels, construction, and essential government functions.

In turn, residents can leave their homes for various needs, including healthcare, purchasing food, medicine and gasoline, taking care of the elderly, minors, and those with disabilities, returning to a place of residence outside of Hawaii, picking up educational materials for distance learning, receiving meals and any other related services, and outdoor exercise – including surfing, swimming and walking pets.

Non-compliance would be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, or up to one year in jail, or both.

For questions about exemptions, email CovidExemption@hawaii.gov.

Those who would like to volunteer ideas or resources to assist in the response effort should email CovidKokua@hawaii.gov.

Ige also announced the state is extending tax deadlines for the Hawaii 2019 individual and corporate income tax filing and payments. The deadline is extended from April 20 to July 20.

Taxpayers do not need to take any action to participate in the tax relief program. The department is making necessary system changes to include the new dates. However, taxpayers expecting a refund for tax year 2019 should file as soon as possible.

Schools to Remain Closed

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) announced March 24 that school facilities will remain closed to students through April 30, based on the latest guidance and information from health officials and elected leaders.

Hawaii Department of Education Superintendent Christina Kishimoto

Traditional, in-school instruction is on hold until schools reopen.

“I want to thank each and every one of the department’s 44,000 employees for working in new ways during these unprecedented times,” Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto said. “These are uncertain and anxious circumstances for everyone in our communities and we sincerely appreciate your patience as our response to this health crisis continues to evolve and we make the needed adjustments for health and safety.”

The department, along with charter schools, will be sending out information about enrichment opportunities, including online resources and printed material resources such as instructional packets. Parents and guardians are encouraged to look out for information from their child’s school and teachers.

Tips and tools gathered by HIDOE’s Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design are also available for the public at bit.ly/HIDOEVirtualLearningParentResource.

Special education services: Schools will ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to the same enrichment opportunities as their peers. Schools are working toward providing the most appropriate modifications and accommodations under the circumstances. Related services that can be provided via telepractice will be considered on a case-by-case basis for students who have qualified for these services.

When school resumes in its traditional manner, Individualized Education Program (IEP) and Section 504 teams will meet to determine if there was a loss of skills as a result of the extended school closure, and the need for compensatory education.

Grab-and-go meal school sites: Nine additional sites began breakfast and lunch service March 25. Parents and caregivers who come to pick up a meal must be accompanied by a child. Meals were not served March 26, which was Prince Kuhio Day.

By the end of this week, the department will be sharing specific plans to ensure its 10,000 eligible high school graduates can earn diplomas. The department will also provide next-level information based on the planning work accomplished by schools, complex areas and state offices for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

“We remain focused on and committed to our educational mission and we look forward to resuming instruction and a sense of normalcy as quickly as possible,” Kishimoto added.

HIDOE COVID-19 updates will continue to be posted on the department’s website at http://hawaiipublicschools.org.

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