BREAKING: Victorino Lifts Ban on Spectators at Youth Sports Not Sanctioned by DOE
* Updated October 6, 8:07 AM
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino has decided to lift the ban on spectators at youth sports events held outdoors, even though all of his requests that were submitted for approval earlier this week to relax current orders, were denied by the governor.
“I believe it is the right thing to do. No offense to the governor. I don’t mean to be disrespectful. I don’t mean to be disobedient,” said Mayor Victorino during an afternoon press briefing on Friday, “but when I read the petition–and I want to thank Aaron Ambricio and his group–because when I read the overall petition, I thought it made sense.”
“You really do sacrifice, you wear your mask, physically distance, because you want to watch and enjoy your children. You understand that the pandemic is not over, and I appreciate that,” said Mayor Victorino. “It’s all these others that are going around saying–no need wear mask, no need vaccination. It’s wrong. We all need to work together, and I’m finding it difficult to come to that common ground. And many officials throughout the world and the United States are finding the same thing.”
The mayor said that effective today, spectators may attend children sports that are not sanctioned by the Department of Education. Under the requests made in the petition:
- Spectators may sit in household groups of no more than 10.
- Wear their face masks.
- Provide at least six feet between household pods and/or individuals who are also spectators.
“Since last week, I’ve been in regular talks with the governor to relax rules,” said Mayor Victorino. “We submitted a formal, written request to the governor’s office on Monday, to request specific changes. I’m disappointed that the governor denied all of them.”
“The Department of Health believes that all restrictions should remain in place until Oct. 20 at the earliest,” said Mayor Victorino. “They pointed out that 193 deaths have occurred in Hawaiʻi during September and we are depending on 650 support medical staff from FEMA to help the overworked health professionals in Maui County and the state of Hawaiʻi.”
In lifting the ban, Mayor Victorino said, “Several family and friends have contacted my office and the signed petition that asks for safeguards for those who wish to watch their children play games.”
The mayor reiterated the parameters of the new guidelines saying: “I want to clarify that the county has no authority… over the MIL sporting events. So those rules only apply to sports not sanctioned by the Department of Education.”
“Let’s prove to Gov. Ige that Maui County residents are respectful of the need to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Mayor Victorino. “If you’re not vaccinated, please do so. Remember, if not, we may have to restart and go back, and this time it may be even longer with the sanctions. Please I ask for your help.”
“All-in-all, I’m kind of happy that kids sports can start over again, and remember keeping it safe for you–the fans, your kupuna that goes to the game–we want to keep people safe. I don’t want any more people dying. We’ve had a real big uptick. Maui has had 20-something deaths in the last month-and-a-half. And it hurts. It’s family and friends that we know,” said Mayor Victorino.
For those venturing out, County officials remind the public to continue with mask wearing, physical distancing, and hand hygiene.