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City announces updates to COVID-19 response

HONOLULU -- Mayor Kirk Caldwell today signed an Order allowing car dealerships to sell vehicles on a strictly on-line basis. These dealerships will be able to continue sales as long as each step of the transaction is conducted online, and the car is then delivered to the customer's home. This is effective from 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 30.

"We realize that transportation is an essential function during this time," said Mayor Caldwell. "If someone's car breaks down, it might cost too much to fix, and they should be able to purchase a new form of transportation so that they can purchase groceries and perform other essential functions."

Mayor Caldwell today also reemphasized his concern regarding the proposed release of hundreds of inmates from state jails until there is a rational thought-out plan. Mayor Caldwell submitted a letter to Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, supporting Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard's letter to Chief Justice Recktenwald, requesting that no further action is taken until key affected agencies are consulted.

"Our fight against the spread of COVID-19 is about protecting the health and safety of all our residents, incarcerated or not," added Caldwell.

On Thursday, the Mayor provided an update on a letter to United States President Donald Trump requesting a stop to all non-essential travel to Hawaiʻi. The letter, also signed by Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino and Kauaʻi County Mayor Derek Kawakami, was received by White House officials who tell the City they would like to act, but cannot until the governor makes this request.

Mayor Caldwell today also announced a recommendation for the people of O‘ahu to wear protective masks, like cloth masks, when they go out in public. N-95 masks and surgical masks should be reserved for our first responders and medical professionals.

"While we know the CDC is still reviewing this guidance, I believe now is the time to act," said Mayor Caldwell. "As our number of cases continues to grow, we need to do anything and everything to stop the spread of this virus. I want to be clear, our Stay at Home/Work at Home Order is still in place, and you should still practice good social distancing, but this is another layer of protection."

In addition, the City is continuing its drive-thru testing this weekend for those eligible. This Saturday, April 4, testing will be done in the parking lot of the Waipiʻo Peninsula Soccer Complex. On Sunday, April 5, testing will occur in the parking lot of Kakaʻako Waterfront Park. Testing will be from 8 a.m. to noon at both locations. For more information on this testing, please call Premier Medical Group Hawaiʻi at (808) 304-8816 or (808) 367-6020.

Out of an abundance of caution, the 71st Mayor's Memorial Day Ceremony originally scheduled for Monday, May 25 in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl has also been canceled. A more detailed announcement concerning additional events associated with the ceremony, such as the Mayor's Memorial Day Poster Contest and Sew a Lei for Memorial Day events, will be made at a later date.

The City and County of Honolulu COVID-19 information call center will remain open indefinitely from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. O‘ahu residents are encouraged to visit the website, to get answers to frequently asked questions about Mayor Caldwell's Stay at Home Order. If they do not find an answer to their questions on the site, residents can call the 768-CITY (2489) information hotline or email

Mayor clarifies that on-line automobile leasing and sales is an "Essential Business"

HONOLULU - Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed Emergency Order No. 2020-04 allowing car dealerships to sell or lease vehicles on a strictly on-line basis. To view the Order, click here.


According to the Order, which is consistent with the Mayor's Stay at Home Order, dealerships will be able to continue sales as long as each step of the transaction is conducted on-line, and the car is then delivered to the customer's home.The Order clarifies that this is Essential Business, as long as the leasing or sales activities are conducted by licensed new and used car and truck dealerships and only if the activity is for one of the following purposes:

  • To close a pending transaction that began before the Mayor's Emergency Order 2020-02 was issued (March 22); or
  • To replace a totaled vehicle, replace a damaged vehicle that is impractical to repair, extend a lease that expires, or provide transportation to essential workers in "Essential Business" or "Essential Infrastructure" if the essential worker has no other means of transportation.

Under no circumstances shall there be in-person test driving of any vehicle, and the buyer must certify that the purchase is essential for one of the reasons provided above. All activities must continue to be conducted in a manner that complies with Social Distancing Requirements established in Emergency Order 2020-02. This is effective at 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 30. Violation of the Order is punishable as a misdemeanor, with fines up to $5,000, up to a year in jail, or both.

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