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Local government officials in Hawaii announced the state would become the last in the United States to lift its mask mandates on March 26.
According to The Associated Press, Hawaii Governor David Ige revealed Tuesday the state's coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have decreased and the data suggests the numbers will continue to decline.
As a result, Hawaii is the last to drop the indoor mask mandates implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety measures were added in April 2020 and have been in place ever since to protect the local communities.
"I do believe that we are the last community to release the mask mandate because we care about each other and we care about our community and we are all willing to sacrifice to keep each other healthy and safe," Governor Ige told The AP.
Even with the decision to lift the mask mandate, health officials in Hawaii are still recommending facial coverings indoors at schools, hospitals, prisons and other "congregate living settings."
Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Josh Green is an emergency room physician and applauded the decision to lift the mask mandate, which he said contributed to the state's low coronavirus numbers.
"The governor and the director of health are very conservative and it has benefited us because we've got the lowest case rate and the second lowest mortality rate in the country," Green told The AP. "It's important that we begin to move toward normal because there are other considerations like people's mental health."
Earlier this month, Hawaii announced the restrictions associated with the Safe Travels program for domestic tourists visiting the state would be lifted on March 25. U.S. citizens will no longer be required to create a Safe Travels account, show their vaccination status or take a pre-travel test when visiting the state.
Donald Wood is TravelPulse’s senior writer in the breaking news department, bringing nearly 15 years of experience to the desk....
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