Mauna Kea visitor center closing temporarily due to COVID-19 situation


The Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station early Saturday morning. Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7.
The Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station. Hawaii 24/7 File Photo

The Maunakea Visitor Information Station (VIS) on Hawaiʻi Island will suspend operations starting Sunday, March 15, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 situation.

The move is being made as a health and safety measure as many other operations around the state and the world are conducting similar closures. The closure is effective as of 6 p.m. on March 15.

“We understand that the Visitor Information Center is helpful to those who visit Maunakea,” General Manager of Maunakea Observatory Support Services Stewart Hunter said. “However, we want to be prudent for the welfare of our visitors and our staff during this extraordinary time. We appreciate the understanding of the public.”

The parking lot will remain open as well as the portable toilets there. While the mountain remains open to the public, officials encourage everyone to follow health department recommendations on social distancing and protection.

VIS administrators will continue to meet and discuss the latest developments to determine when they should reopen and resume operations.

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