Maui Coronavirus Updates

Mayor Tests Negative After COVID-19 Exposure During Meeting with Unvaccinated Opponents to Emergency Rules

October 18, 2021, 4:46 PM HST
* Updated October 19, 2:47 PM
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Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino. PC: Courtesy MEO (file)

*EDITOR’S NOTE: An individual from the group identified in this article reached out to Maui Now and advised us of several inconsistencies saying: only one of three individuals tested positive, the results for the infected individual were received late Saturday (not Friday), and the Mayor’s office was notified of the positive result on Monday morning. A follow up report is posted here.

Update: (2:48 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021)

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino today corrected a press release issued on Monday, acknowledging that “one–not two–of the individuals who met with him and his staff on Thursday tested positive for COVID-19.” 

According to an updated press release issued on Tuesday afternoon, “The individual who tested positive on Saturday did not immediately inform the Mayor’s office even though he had cellphone numbers of some executive staff members. The infected individual did not contact the Mayor’s office until 10:15 a.m. on Monday. News of his test results came by way of a social media post over the weekend.”

A county spokesperson reports that Mayor Victorino received information that two of three meeting participants had tested positive for COVID-19. “That information has since been determined to be inaccurate,” according to the updated release.

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“My office is correcting this error because we value accuracy,” explained Mayor Victorino. “I must also emphasize that no names were mentioned in our announcement.”

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The updated statement went on to say: “Thankfully, all participating staff members have since received negative COVID-19 test results. Ironically, the infected individual is a shining example that masks do work to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” concluded the mayor. “I wish him a speedy and complete recovery from his illness.”

Previous Post: Oct. 18, 2021

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino tested negative for COVID-19 this weekend after meeting days earlier in-person with three unvaccinated Maui County residents opposed to state and county emergency public health rules. Two of the three residents later tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release issued by the Mayor’s office this afternoon.

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Although the three residents had negative results for the virus prior to the meeting on Thursday, one of the attendees began experiencing symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, according to the release. Another attendee also tested positive.

Mayor Victorino said he learned of the exposure through a social media post late Saturday.

“I am disappointed that no one reached out to my office to immediately let me know of the positive test,” Mayor Victorino said. “That was irresponsible, and could result in the spread of the disease by myself and several executive staff members. We only found out about the exposure because of a social media post.”

Mayor Victorino and members of his staff who attended the meeting were tested for COVID-19 and found to be negative. Executive staff members were fully vaccinated.

The group of residents sought the in-person meeting with Mayor Victorino to advocate for a town-hall style public event with others opposed to state and county safety measures.

“As the administrative leader of this County, I have a duty to protect County employees and the public. Therefore, due to the risk of encouraging in-person group gatherings, I will not be participating in an in-person town hall style meeting, but I will continue to meet virtually with members of our community. I value all points of view,” said Mayor Victorino.

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