Mayor Interview: Testing, Curfew and Cluster Updates
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is providing updates on Pacific Media Group’s network of Maui stations as the County continues to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the mayor spoke with Kawika-Veeka of HI92 FM on Maui, and shared his thoughts on the weekend pilot curfew program, increasing testing underway, and issues surrounding the hospital cluster at Maui Memorial Medical Center.
The COVID-19 cluster at the Maui Memorial Medical Center continues to rise with the state’s latest tally pushing the count of positive individuals associated with the outbreak to 27–with an additional four patients under investigation as potentially linked. By today, the hospital will have notified 194 patients who received care by affected healthcare workers at the facility. The state Department of Health is assisting with telephone outreach, and testing of impacted patients and healthcare providers is ongoing.
As of noon on Sunday, there were 499 cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawaiʻi, with 84 cases in Maui County. Of Maui’s count, at least 40 have been released from isolation, 7 have required hospitalization and there have been three deaths linked to the virus in the county.
Maui police issued a total of seven citations during roving roadblocks held throughout the county on Saturday. Six of the citations were for driving with no insurance and one citation was for violation of the state’s emergency order issued in response to the pandemic. The police department issued a reminder over the weekend that Stay-at-Home orders remain in effect and travel should be for essential activities only.
The University of Hawai‘i, Maui College, will receive more than $1.18 million in federal funding to help respond to the coronavirus crisis. The minimum allocation for emergency grants for students is $593,000. The money comes from a $32 million package that Hawai‘i is set to receive for its higher education institutions. US Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawai‘i who announced the funding said the funds will help colleges and universities with operational and economic challenges. At least 50 percent of the funds the institutions receive must be used for emergency financial aid grants to students to help ease expenses caused by campus disruptions from the pandemic.
A total of 404 people arrived in Hawaiʻi from out-of-state on Saturday, including 89 visitors and 147 residents. On Maui, a single flight arrived on Saturday with 22 people aboard, including six crew members, 8 residents and 8 visitors. The state’s two week self-quarantine rules implemented on incoming travelers has been in effect for two-and-a-half weeks.
Over the weekend, two Maui lawmakers called on the governor to mobilize the deployment of the Hawaiʻi National Guard to the remote communities of East Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi. Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English and Representative Lynn DeCoite sent a joint letter to the Governor urging deployment to help enforce travel restrictions, enhance community policing efforts and maintain law and order.
Mokulele Airlines expanded its Grocery Airlift on Friday beyond Molokai to also include flights to Lāna‘i, Hāna and Waimea. The service will continue through at least the end of the month. The service was initially offered on Molokai in response to the temporary closure of one of the island’s two grocery stores after two residents tested positive for COVID-19. The offer for free Grocery Airlift is good for up to 50 pounds of groceries per customer. To date, Mokulele Airlines has already shipped more than 2,500 pounds of food through the program. Individuals wishing to take advantage of the offer should have their groceries at the Mokulele counters in Honolulu or Kahului at least 30-minutes prior to the flight’s scheduled departure.