As state leaders drop COVID-19 safety measures right and left, I wanted to give a shout-out to Hawaii: the one state that has kept its indoor mask mandate in place during this time. Gov. David Ige currently intends to keep the measure in place despite the CDC’s new guidance, according to local reports.
Hawaii faces unique challenges during COVID-19 surges, since its island location makes it difficult for healthcare staff support to come in—or for patients to be transferred out of the state. These challenges have previously led Gov. Ige to call for tourists to avoid traveling to Hawaii, and to me, seem like good motivation for this state to keep cases low.
Hawaii also has the second-lowest COVID-19 death rate, after Vermont—likely in part because of the state’s mask requirement and other safety measures.