Mayor Interview: Maui Cases Leveling Off, but Weekend Gatherings Concerning
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino expressed frustration with parties that were held over the holiday weekend despite continued warnings to refrain from gatherings.
The information was shared during a morning interview with KPOA 93.5 FM’s Shane Kahalehau, in which the Mayor provided updates on COVID-19 impacts in Maui County.
“Out on the East end, there were some big parties… and they bring other people from the West side… and yet they’re the very ones on my case about shutting down Hāna and not letting anyone in,” said Mayor Victorino. “I really am disappointed.”
New cases are also coming out of Molokaʻi, despite a Zoom meeting held three weeks ago with the Department of Health in which officials shared actions that needed to take place to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.
“They went out and had parties… I feel so devastated when I see that, especially in our smaller communities where I’ve done extra to protect them to help make sure that COVID-19 does not spread,” said Mayor Victorino, noting the lack of medical facilities in rural areas.
Despite the negative reports, Mayor Victorino expressed gratitude for those that he said are doing their part to prevent further spread of the virus.
“Our cases have leveled off. Since Sept. 1, we’ve had exactly 18 cases. That may not sound like a little, but if you divide that by day, we’re averaging around not quite three a day… but I’d like to get it down to zero like we had the other day,” said Mayor Victorino.
“We will continue to slowly, but surely open up our economy. I want people to know that we are looking at reopening where we can when we can and we can do it safely,” he said. “There’s all kinds of programs we’re putting in place, but we have to make sure the proper protocols are in place and safety is paramount–it has to be our number one priority.”
“All that being said, we are not in a bad place. I’ll tell you if we’re getting there or when we’re not doing well. Most importantly we need to focus on keeping people from gathering. I know people think–no big deal, but that’s what happened on Molokaʻi. And that can happen in any of our small districts or big districts, it doesn’t make a difference,” said Mayor Victorino.
Mayor Victorino will also be on hand for tonight’s edition of E Kūpaʻa Kākou, a Hawaiian music series honoring the strength of community. Tonight’s guests are Kaulike Pescaia and Josh Tatofi, with Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka and Kumu Hula Nāpua Greig.
Tonight’s performance is the second in a four part series taking place each Friday this month that celebrates the efforts of some of the 2020 Maui Nā Hoku Hanohano award nominees, accompanied by Maui hālau each Friday in September from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
The series will be live streamed from the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. There will be no in-person audience and the public is encouraged to view the stream online.