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Parks for limited use, golf courses to reopen Friday

Face masks required when in public

Mayor Michael Victorino announced Wednesday that select parks and golf courses will be reopened starting May 1.

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino announced Wednesday afternoon the first round of reopenings, starting with some beach and inland parks and golf courses at 7 a.m. Friday.

The mayor shuttered parks and the Waiehu Municipal Golf Course on March 23 as part of emergency orders to stem the spread of COVID-19. Much of the county’s economy has since shut down with state and county emergency stay-at-home and travel quarantine edicts.

While opening up some facilities, the mayor also required face coverings and masks when leaving the house, with the exception of children younger than 5 years old, exercise, health conditions that restrict the use of face masks and financial institution requirements calling for their removal.

“We will be announcing some changes today and tomorrow to new norms in Maui County,” Victorino said during Wednesday’s media update.

Pointing to The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security public health principles, county officials said that the COVID-19 reopening will focus on the “triangle” of public health, community and economy.

Public health means protecting kupuna and the most vulnerable communities; community is compliance with social distancing, face coverings and other rules; and economy focuses on businesses operating with new safety modifications.

The parks will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. but only for walking, jogging, running, biking and ocean activities. Playground equipment, courts and fields, dog parks, pavilions, skate parks, gymnasiums, grills, picnic tables and benches are off limits. There shall be no organized sports and congregating as well.

The inland parks that will be opened Friday include:

• “Duke” Maliu Regional Park on Molokai.

• Hana Ball Park.

• Keanae Park.

• Kahului Community Park.

• Keopuolani Regional Park.

• Kilohana Park.

• South Maui Community Park.

• Liloa Drive Bike Trail.

• Lahaina Recreation Center.

• Napili Park.

• Lanai Entry Park.

• New Kula Ballfield.

• Pukalani Park.

The beach parks that will be open Friday include:

• Hana Beach Park (Hana Bay).

• Hoaloha Park.

• Ho’okipa Beach Park

• Lower Paia Park

• Kamaole I

• Kamaole II

• Kamaole III

• One Ali’i Park

• Wahikuli Wayside Park

• Waiehu Beach Park

Golf courses will be allowed to open Friday with the following conditions: social distancing; one person per golf cart unless an additional household member rides (two people max), no drink or refreshment carts; and one rake per cart. All courses should follow the PGA and USGA guidelines for COVID-19.

Vehicle safety checks also will resume with the first phase of reopenings.

Gov. David Ige’s supplemental proclamation Saturday extended stay-at-home, work-from-home orders through May 31 and required that each county submit emergency rule changes to the governor for approval. Victorino said the county’s changes announced Wednesday have been approved by the governor.

“We have had an average of one new case per day over the last 14 days,” Victorino said during the media update. “I think the curve is beginning to level off. But we are not out of the woods yet. I don’t want people to get excited, start running around.

“Please, please, understand. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. It used to be a dim light, but now I see a light. Help us continue to make that light brighter so we can start reopening Maui County.”

* Kehaulani Cerizo can be reached at kcerizo@mauinews.com.

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