Kokua Line: What COVID-19 rules will there be when Parks and Rec reopens Oahu gyms?
Question: It’s good to hear the county gyms will finally be opening up more, but will the COVID-19 protocols stay in place?
Answer: Yes, according to the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation. The department began accepting applications Monday for permitted use of city park gymnasiums, for dates beginning Oct. 18, according to a news release.
COVID-19 protocols will apply, including capacity limits, face coverings and proof of vaccination or a negative test result, it said. The vaccination or testing requirement will apply to people 12 and older, in keeping with the Safe Access O‘ahu program, according to the department.
For links to the park use application, COVID-19 compliance form and COVID-19 terms and conditions, go to bit.ly/COVIDpermits.
Q: I am eligible for a booster shot but don’t think I need it. I am under 50, in excellent health, not overweight, don’t smoke, etc., but my job is considered high-risk. My question is, Will I count as “fully vaccinated” if I don’t get the booster?
A: Yes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Everyone is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-shot series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the J&J/Janssen vaccine,” it says.
From your description, you are eligible for a Pfizer- BioNTech booster shot because you are 18 or older, received the second dose of the Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine at least six months ago, and your job puts you at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission. This employment category includes essential workers such as first responders (health care workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff), education staff (teachers, support staff, day care workers), food and agriculture workers, manufacturing workers, corrections workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, public transit workers and grocery store workers, according to the CDC.
Emerging evidence “shows that among healthcare and other front-line workers, vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infections is decreasing over time. This lower effectiveness is likely due to the combination of decreasing protection as time passes since getting vaccinated (e.g., waning immunity) as well as the greater infectiousness of the Delta variant,” the CDC says on its website.
It endorsed the Pfizer- BioNTech booster shot based on a clinical trial showing increased immune response among trial participants. It said the booster should improve protection against COVID-19, including the delta variant.
Adults eligible because of their jobs “may get a booster shot after considering their individual risks and benefits,” the CDC says, a less assertive recommendation than for people 65 and older, people 50 to 64 with underlying health conditions and people 18 and older living in long-term care settings. People eligible in those groups should get the booster shot, the CDC says.
Q: Are any satellite city halls still open on Saturday?
A: Yes, the Downtown, Hawaii Kai, Pearlridge and Windward City locations are open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but only for customers who need to renew Hawaii driver’s licenses, learner’s permits or state ID cards, according to the city’s website. “No other satellite city hall services are offered during these special Saturday hours,” it says. Appointments via AlohaQ.org are recommended.
To the person who left two newborn kittens near Momilani Community Center, shame, shame on you! They are safe now. — Arleen
To the person who found my credit card at Don Quijote Pearl City on Saturday and brought it to the customer service center, thank you very much and God bless you. You really made my day. — A. Higa
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 email [email protected]