BREAKING: Mayor repealing Maui County Public Health Emergency Rules, effective March 1, 2022
All of Maui County’s Public Health Emergency Rules are being repealed, effective March 1, 2022, according to an announcement by Maui Mayor Michael Victorino this afternoon.
This effects Maui County’s rules only, and not the state’s emergency proclamation. “We only will be able to do this because the new case counts are very low, our hospitalization rate has remained low, and more importantly, our surge has subsided substantially,” said Mayor Victorino during a press briefing.
In Maui County, the seven day average for new daily cases dropped to 27 today. This is compared to one month earlier when Maui was at a little over 600 per day, according to Mayor Victorino.
“I’m proud to say the people of Maui County, over the past two years have worked really hard to follow our mandates , or our expectations–if you want to use that term–to keep themselves healthy and safe,” said Mayor Victorino. “We here at the County worked very hard to make sure that whatever rules that we put out, was for your wellbeing, not because we thought it was a good idea.”
The repeal also means that Maui County campgrounds can start opening up. This includes One Aliʻi Park in Kaunakakai, Pāpōhaku Park on the West End of Molokaʻi and Papalaua Wayside Park in West Maui.
Reservations will be opening up at small community centers, beginning on March 1, 2022, at most facilities with capacities up to 300 people. This includes community centers at Pāʻia and Haʻikū, according to the mayor.
Larger-capacity community centers, like those in Wailuku, Kīhei, and Lahaina, will open at a later date to be announced. “There’s some renovations and air conditioning system in Kīhei is not up and running,” said Mayor Victorino, noting that he also wanted to monitor the BA.2 variant, which has been referred to as stealth omicron.
“We’re dropping all of the other restrictions, so now you can enjoy your family, but be safe. I really recommend you still wear masks, especially when you’re in groups with people you don’t know and don’t deal with every day, outside of your household,” said Mayor Victorino.
Earlier this week, on Feb. 21, Maui’s longstanding rule regarding proof of vaccination status to dine-in at restaurants or to visit other “high risk” businesses like bars and gyms, was lifted.
This comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated masking guidelines today and unveiled a new COVID-19 Community Level tool to help communities decide on what prevention steps to take based on the latest data.
Mayor Victorino said he is reviewing the CDC guidelines, and “will abide as best as possible with our case counts and what’s happening around us, to do what the CDC recommends.”
The Maui repeal does not preclude the state mandate by the governor affecting Safe Travels and the indoor mask mandate. Both rules remain in effect. The state document is set to expire March 25, but it is unclear how the governor will proceed.
“With COVID-19 new cases and hospitalizations continuing to trend downward dramatically, it’s time for our residents to return to the activities that they enjoy — camping with friends and family and attending birthday parties, baby lūʻau and other events at community centers,” Mayor Victorino said in a press release issued after the briefing. “Now, we can reclaim our island lifestyle and put COVID-19 restrictions behind us.”
“If things change, we will make the necessary changes as needed,” said Mayor Victorino.