Kokua line: do the COVID-19 rules apply to private clubs?
Question: We live in a small, gated community of 120 homes with a clubhouse which is lightly used by residents for playing racquetball (we have two indoor courts) or ping pong. As a private facility, are we considered a “covered entity” and therefore subject to the new vaccine or the negative COVID-19 testing requirements of Safe Access O’ahu?
Reply: Not if the clubhouse only allows residents, depending on the city. However, if non-resident guests are allowed, the rules would apply to both residents and guests, he says.
We have received many similar questions from readers about recreation areas in apartment complexes, break rooms for workplace celebrations and other events and facilities. Here are additional details, from city spokesman Tim Sakahara, who confirmed or expanded on the information available on oneoahu.org:
>> Safe Access O’ahu, which requires “covered entities” to screen people for COVID-19, does not apply to private residential buildings with dining, entertainment and exercise / fitness settings are only available to residents. However, if these settings are open to guests, the rules would apply to residents and guests.
>> Likewise, the program does not apply to offices if the dining, entertainment or fitness areas of the office are only accessible to office staff; “Non-staff cannot be allowed on the premises,” the website says.
>> Seniors’ centers and community centers that provide social services to the public are exempt from Safe Access O’ahu. Some readers have interpreted this to mean that recreation centers in their apartment buildings are exempt, but that is not correct, according to the city. As explained in the initial response, these private establishments are only exempt if they exclude guests and serve residents only, depending on the city.
>> Kindergarten to grade 12 schools are exempt, as are child care programs.
Question: I’ve heard that security checks for car registration have a two-month grace period due to COVID-19; Is this still the case?
A: The Pandemic Era extensions on motor vehicle security checks ended on January 1. The state Department of Transportation said safety inspection posts had been open as of May 15, 2020, having closed for less than two months at the start of the pandemic.
Question: I couldn’t wait to resume classes through Parks and Rec. Has Delta changed all that?
A: The Honolulu County Department of Parks and Recreation said it is offering a “hybrid catalog” of courses this fall, with some available in person and others online. You can see what is available at pros10.hnl.info.
Question: Is it true that locals can now travel to Hanauma Bay without a reservation?
A: Yes, at times. “Hawaii residents with valid ID can enter the nature reserve without a reservation from 7:00 am to 9:00 am Wednesday through Sunday. This does not apply to the military unless they have local identification, ”according to the marine reserve’s website.
Question: Knowing that obesity is an underlying condition for poor COVID-19 outcomes, I stay tuned to the latest news. I thought I heard that Hawaii has one of the worst obesity rates. Can this be true?
A: Maybe you misheard. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 25% of Hawaiian adults report being obese, among the lowest percentages in the country. Only Colorado, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia are also in this range, according to the US Obesity Map, which you can see on 808ne.ws/obesitymap.
I’m sick of people saying they’re ‘doing their own research’ on COVID-19. They don’t do research! At best, they crawl through pages on the Internet (without clicking on a footnote that might take them to a primary source). At worst, they fall into the trap of disinformation on social media and then spread it. Do they even know what research is? I doubt. – Tired reader
Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or send an email to [email protected]