State briefs for March 1

Honolulu to end vaccine proof mandate for eateries

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu will no longer require businesses including restaurants and fitness centers to verify employees and customers are fully vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test.


Mayor Rick Blangiardi said Monday he will allow the emergency order that mandated vaccination proof or negative tests to expire on Saturday.

“Let us find joy in this moment as it brings hope, relief and positivity as we look forward to our new way of life where we live with, rather than are led by COVID,” Blangiardi said.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s statewide indoor mask mandate remains in effect.

Honolulu mandated verification of vaccination proof or negative tests during surge in cases from the delta variant.

City employees are still required to comply with the state’s vaccination requirements.

Honolulu’s free COVID-19 testing program will continue with reduced operating hours.

Tests detect elevated petroleum in home

HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. Navy said it detected high levels of petroleum in the tap water of a home while preparing Pearl Harbor military housing for the return of families who evacuated when jet fuel poisoned their water.

The Navy said testing found a petroleum compound at a level of 460 parts per billion in one Halsey Terrace home north of Honolulu’s airport. That’s more than the 211 parts per billion limit the state Department of Health set for total petroleum hydrocarbons.

The Navy has been testing the water in the neighborhood after flushing clean water through its pipes to clear the contamination.

Jet fuel leaked into a Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam water system drinking water well from the Navy’s Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in late November. About a week later, nearly 6,000 people complained of headaches, nausea, rashes and other physical ailments after drinking the water and bathing in it.

About 4,000 military families have been living in hotels while the Navy tries to clear the contamination. The state Department of Health has declared the water safe to drink in several hundred homes so far, allowing some families to return.

The Navy disclosed the elevated petroleum in a news release late Friday.

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