Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has announced a move from Tier 2 to Tier 3, effective Thursday, which could have a significant impact on high school and youth organized sports on Oahu.
His live press conference on Facebook Live referred to sports several times.
“Today, I want to announce effective Thursday morning, 12:01 a.m., we officially move to Tier 3, and with that comes a relaxation of the rules. We got there ahead of schedule thanks to all of you.
“One of the things not included is sports. Because of the circumstances which are most favorable, we’re going to the governor (David Ige) and ask for modifications to Tier 3 so people can play youth sports outside and all team sports. As an old coach, it’s the mental aspect of practices and the peer aspect of team sports. We’re very hopeful that our presentation will be well received by the DOH. I was told by the Lt. Gov., Green, we are eighth best in percentage of vaccinations. Given the supply challenges we’ve had, that’s remarkable. Everyone owns a part of this success.
“We can’t move forward (on Tier 4) until Mar. 25. We have a very low rate of spread and infection, also we’re not burdening our hospitals. Hopefully, we’ll be at Tier 4 in a month’s time.
“I’ve talked to the governor about Tier 3. We started our conversations this past weekend. Nobody wanted to bachi it, so we waited until today. The modifications, we’ve not presented in detail. I think because I’ve been public about sports that he’s anticipating hearing from us. We can only move one tier at a time forward. I need the governor’s sign-off. He has the ultimate authority in this. We will be submitting our request to the DOH, which will make a review and then submit to the governor their recommendations. We submitted our papers to the governor’s desk yesterday and they will go in effect Thursday morning.
“Our biggest safety concern is that we don’t have spectators on the sidelines. Wait in the car for them. The biggest deterrent is gathering of crowds and that’s the one thing we don’t want to happen. Allowing people to play, hopefully, that’s the biggest one.
“It’s a time to be joyous, to celebrate our success and sacrifice, and to keep moving forward.”
Currently, the state’s five high school leagues plan to play spring sports, pending approval.