Mayor Victorino Maui COVID-19 Update: 8:30 a.m., March 30, 2020
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is providing updates on Pacific Media Group’s network of Maui stations this week. Today, the mayor spoke with listeners of HI92 FM Maui, and shared his thoughts on preparedness, testing and ongoing measures to flatten the curve of the pandemic in the islands.
The mayor was among those tested for COVID-19 last week and shared his reasons for getting tested. “I had a fever. I was coughing. One of the main reasons was a little shortness of breath–nothing major, but I could feel it coming on,” said Mayor Victorino. “It ended up being just a bad case of the flu; but again, the symptoms are so close to the flu, it’s really difficult to distinguish between the two.”
Mayor Victorino says the current case load on Maui of COVID-19 patients is an “extremely low number” when compared to the population. “I was told that we can expect more, and we’ll probably get more because more testing is being done,” however, the mayor continued to urge social distancing by staying home and working from home and doing whatever can be done to not congregate.
Mayor Victorino pointed to his executive, economic and health team in leading Maui in implementing initiatives that started ahead of the rest of the state, including Maui’s stay-at-home order. “There’s many, many people that are feeding me information that is really helping me make good, solid, intelligent decisions,” said Mayor Victorino.
Mayor Victorino also detailed the $2 million HELP program that will be rolling out on Maui April 1. “MEO will be the sponsoring agency. The Department of Housing and Human Concerns will be the agency that’s in charge of following up on what’s happening. And it really is money (vouchers)–we’re working on the specifics–to help you pay for utility bills, buy food, rent, mortgages,” he said.
“This is not going to cover everything… and we know there is a federal stimulus package of over $2 trillion that will trickle down to us. People are going to get checks directly from the federal government. That’s not coming for another two-three weeks. I doubt if it comes any earlier than that. State unemployment has been overwhelmed, but they’re getting caught up and hopefully within the next two weeks people will receive unemployment checks,” said Mayor Victorino.
“This $2 million stimulus is to help the 6,000 or 7,000 unemployed workers here in Maui County who have no income at this juncture, help augment a little,” he said. “It’s not enough to solve all of their problems, but it’s a little help,” said Mayor Victorino.
*The full length interview with HI92 FM’s Kawika-veeka is available above.
Note: Pacific Media Group is the parent company of Maui Now.