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BREAKING: Maui Mayor Asks for Voluntary 21 Day Rest from Non-Essential Activity

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino speaks at an afternoon press briefing on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. PC: County of Maui / Akakū.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is asking residents and visitors to Maui County to voluntarily curb non-essential activities including gatherings for 21 days.

It’s part of a list of recommendations and requests made by the mayor as he seeks approval of amendments to the County’s Health Emergency Rules. He is still awaiting approval from Governor David Ige, and is hoping to hear back by Wednesday before establishing timelines for implementation.

“First of all, we’ll await the governor’s approval, and from there, we’ll probably set seven days from whenever we get the approval for implementation… I think we have to be cognizant that people need time to get ready. So I cannot give you a definitive timetable right now. It really would depend on the governor and hopefully we’ll hear from him by tomorrow; and then know what our next move will be and the timeframes we can institute,” said Mayor Victorino.

According to Mayor Victorino and county officials, his request includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • A provision for a health pass.
    • “At this time it is under review by the governor, but I believe there is some traction for that and we’re hoping to hear back by tomorrow, whether they will allow it or not, and how this will work for the public. And this will be for the residents and the visitors alike,” said Mayor Victorino.
  • More limits on gathering sizes.
  • Reinstatement of a work from home provision: Mayor Victorino is asking employers to consider reinstating work from home provisions whenever operations allow during this 21 day period.
  • Ask public to consider restricting activities to essential items.
  • Ask that visitors remain at their hotel properties and not to circulate or gather outside of their resort bubble during this time.
    • “Please enjoy the beach, the pool, the shops on the property; but to all of our visitors, our residents need your help as well in controlling the spread within our community and reducing the strain on our hospitals. Please consider that now may not be the right time to travel, visit friends, participate in gatherings or attend any parties,” said Deputy Managing Director Josiah Nishita.
  • Ask the public to refrain from visiting remote areas with limited healthcare capacity like Hāna in East Maui
  • Ask the public to reduce risky activities.
  • Relating to schools:
    • Also, I’ve asked again to consider what’s happening with our schools because numbers have continuously climbed in a lot of our schools in our complexes and many of them… are not prepared with testing sites and some public health nurses, or anybody there to administer what’s going on…. our schools are one of our big concerns and we’re watching very carefully,” said Mayor Victorino.

“Given the rise in cases and hospitalizations, we do need to take additional steps to make sure that this doesn’t get out of control,” said Josiah Nishita, Deputy Managing Director.

“Our hospitals statewide are at or near capacity and our keiki under 12 who can’t be vaccinated have returned to classroom learning. So we really need our community to voluntarily step up and help us protect our children, our elderly, and those with pre-existing medical conditions,” said Nishita.

In addition to vaccinations, Nishita said, other mitigation measures “such as mask wearing, physical distancing, avoiding groups, and good hygiene provide additional layers of protection that can help you, your family members and other members of our community.”

Nishita asked people to refrain from risky activities, giving examples such as dirt biking and driving fast, saying, “In addition to preventing the spread of COVID, we also need to try and do our part in other ways to protect our healthcare capacity at our hospitals by limiting the amount of people that need to go there to ensure that we have adequate capacity for those in need.”

“I really believe that a month ago me and many others felt like we were about to get out of COVID, and move ahead,” said Mayor Victorino. “I could see without the proper protocols and vaccinations, being completed we were going to be in trouble, and sure enough we are,” he said.

Senator Lynn DeCoite also spoke during the Tuesday afternoon news briefing saying there could be a limit placed on air travel if COVID gets out of control on Molokaʻi.

“That is our only lifeline aside from boat access on and off the island, but people need to think about that before even getting on the airplane. You’re going to put a lot of people in jeopardy and possibly closure of flights,” said DeCoite.

“With Molokaʻi, they have Mokulele and that’s it, unless you take a private boat,” said Mayor Victorino. “So it makes it much more challenging for Molokaʻi than even Lānaʻi; but all of our neighbor island districts, as well as Hāna, has very few means of getting into Maui County or to Central Maui for help… I hope we never get to this point. If we do we’re in big trouble,” he said.

“Remember, please, I’m asking you to voluntarily restrain yourself from public gatherings. I’m not mandating. I’m trying to ask you to do what is right. Yes, I told you that the light at the end of the tunnel and the end of the journey was close by; well, sorry, it got further away from us–and Delta has done that,” said Mayor Victorino. “Please stay safe, stay healthy over the week. It’s a family and we are an entire community working together.”

“It’s really up to the people,” said Mayor Victorino, “If we’re not going to step up and do what is right, we’re going to continue to go and get into deep hot water and numbers are going to continue to climb.”

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2021/08/24/breaking-maui-mayor-asks-for-voluntary-21-day-rest-from-non-essential-activity/

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