State eases welfare requirements




  • KELSEY WALLING/Tribune-Herald A sunbather sits up and looks out Monday at Carlsmith Beach Park in Hilo. The few park visitors maintained social distance while taking advantage of the sunny day.

  • KELSEY WALLING/Tribune-Herald A postal worker delivers mail Monday on Kinoole Street in downtown Hilo. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended anyone going out in public to wear a mask over their face.

  • KELSEY WALLING/Tribune-Herald A beachgoer looks to bandage a friend’s foot next to a line of cars parked outside Richardson Ocean Park on Monday in Hilo. Although the park is closed, patrons parked outside the gates to go to the ocean to swim, surf, snorkel and fish.

  • KELSEY WALLING/Tribune-Herald A man emerges Monday from Richardson Ocean Park in Hilo by a sign confirming that the ocean is open while the beach is closed. Sunbathing and loitering are prohibited while activities in the water are allowed.

State Department of Human Services Director Pankaj Bhanot said Monday that eligibility restrictions will be loosened for general assistance payments — commonly known as welfare — because of the COVID-19 pandemic.