Hawaii’s governor disputes social media shutdown rumors

Coronavirus

FILE – This Aug. 30, 2006, file photo, shows Hapuna Beach Park on the Big Island of Hawaii. Stephen Leatherman, a coastal scientist and professor at Florida International University, has been drafting a list of the best beaches in the U.S., under the alias “Dr. Beach” since 1991. He has named Hapuna Beach Park the best beach in the country in his 2021 list. (Michael Darden/West Hawaii Today via AP, File)

HONOLULU (NewsNation Now) — Gov. David Ige dismissed rumors of a COVID-related shutdown in Hawaii on Sunday via social media.

“There have been rumors circulating about a shut down in Hawaii. I want to clear the record that there are currently no plans to shut down. All posts on social media and being distributed by other means are not true. Official announcements will always come from official channels,” Ige said in a Facebook and Twitter post.

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This statement from Ige comes after these rumors began to circulate on social media.

Ige’s statements also come on the same day the DOH reported 1,678 new coronavirus cases in Hawaii.

In March of 2020, Hawaii instituted a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all visitors due to the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. That was the same month that Disney closed its parks in Florida and California and all the theme parks in Orlando, Florida shut down.

Tourism largely collapsed in mid-2020, but began to tentatively return over the summer as masking and social distancing requirements slowed the outbreak. Air travel remained at lows not seen since the post-9/11 period.

The recently reversed drop in vaccination rates and the more contagious delta variant combined with the loosening of protection protocols has driven a surge in cases which has rumors flying about planned shutdowns of everything from individual states to nationwide air travel. As of yet, no shutdowns of that magnitude have been announced.

NewsNation affiliate KHON contributed to this report.

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