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Maui’s 21 Day Lockdown is Voluntary, Stricter Rules Still on the Table

“We are in a dire situation here,” said Maui Managing Director Sandy Baz during a Friday afternoon press briefing hosted by Maui Mayor Michael Victorino.

Hawaiʻi had 9,790 cases over the past two weeks, which accounts for more than 16% of the total confirmed cases for the state of Hawaiʻi’s since March of 2020. Maui’s reported new cases reported over the last 14 days is 1,124.

“These numbers explain why the governor and the mayor are considering stricter rules,” he said. Efforts are also focused right now on voluntary compliance with masking and other mitigating measures like washing hands, physical distancing, and staying home when sick.

Maui’s 21 Day Lockdown is Voluntary

“I did want to clarify the Mayor’s request the other day for a 21 day voluntary lockdown–and the key word is voluntary,” said Baz. “We’re not issuing a stay-at-home order, but he’s really asking you to… if you don’t have to go out, don’t go out. Do your essential work. Please don’t gather with those outside of your own household. Those are the kind of things that we’re asking.”

“We’re appealing to visitors and residents to make these responsible choices and avoid risky behavior because of the high transmission of the Delta [variant],” he said.

“We won’t be able to enforce our way out of this pandemic,” said Managing Director Sandy Baz.

“We’re not an authoritarian country where we can just force everybody to do everything. This is a democratic nation, and we ask, we plead with you, please join us in helping to do these mitigation measures. It is the responsibility of every individual to make small choices everyday to improve or worsen our situation in Maui County. So it’s your choices that help us either improve or unfortunately worsen our situation,” said Baz.

Voluntary provisions include:

  • Consider voluntarily restricting activities to essential needs only like grocery shopping [and] doctor visits.
  • Avoid gatherings, especially indoor gatherings with family and friends that are outside of your household.
  • Employers will decide which employees can or cannot work from home.
  • Visitors are asked to “enjoy the comfort and safety of your resort accommodations.”
  • County officials say this is not a time to venture out and visit places like Hāna, for example that are having clusters.

“Our isolated communities have very limited healthcare resources. Remember the impact patients have on our healthcare facilities, especially our Maui Memorial Medical Center, which is our only acute care healthcare facility.

“I cannot emphasize enough–safer-at-home when you don’t have to be out, don’t have to gather, don’t have to get out there in the public. It’s really, really important at this juncture,” said Mayor Victorino.

“To our visitors who are enjoying our beautiful landscape and our beautiful environment and also all the other beautiful things Maui brings to the table, we need to ask yourselves one question–how would you like someone coming to your home and tracking in and literally and figuratively messing up your home. I don’t think you’d like that. And so we’re asking that same favor from you as a visitor–the respect to our culture, our environment, but most importantly, for all of us, our home.

Shutdown Still on the Table if COVID Curve Does Not Flatten
Health Pass Still Under Review

“We ask this so that you can enjoy yourself and not be forced to shut down–which I think the governor, myself, and other mayors are speaking to each and every day now. We need to level off the curve… If the curve doesn’t flatten in the next few weeks, we may not have any choice but to shut down,” said Mayor Victorino.

“I’m saying safer-at-home–stay-at home if you don’t have to go out is better than being out. Again, I’m not restricting gatherings at this point, except what is in place at this time, but I ask everyone to use their kuleana, their responsible actions to prevent further outbreaks that can be devastating not only to our health care and our healthcare workers, and our healthcare facilities, but to our community,” said Mayor Victorino.

Gov. David Ige signed an executive order on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, which places a limit on social gatherings to no more than 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Indoor capacity for restaurants, bars and gyms also is limited to 50%.

“We do continue to work with the governor’s office on requests to amend Maui’s Public Health Emergency Rules. But really, does government have to tell you how to live safely? I’m beginning to get really tired of telling you or asking you to do what is right?” said Mayor Victorino.

While a health pass or vaccine passport for certain restaurants and gyms surfaced for discussion as a potential mitigation measure during the Mayor’s last press briefing, the program concept is still under review.

“Nothing has been finalized at this time, and I prefer not to get into any details until those final approvals have been made by the governor,” said Mayor Victorino in response to inquiry about the health pass program.

Mayor’s Message: Take Personal Responsibility

Mayor Victorino posed several questions saying: “No. 1, did not your parents tell you wash your hands? … Did they not ask you to cover up when you sneezed? That was what we were asked when we were kids. We’re kind of asking the same thing, maybe just a little different with a mask.”

“But most importantly, did not your parents say do what is right, not just for yourself, but for those around you? I think we’ve come to the point where it’s now become you the people–it’s your kuleana (responsibility). Whether you’re a visitor or residents, it doesn’t make a lot of difference. You’ve got to do what is right,” he said.

“I’ve heard all of the reasons why not. I’ve heard all of the reasons why I don’t have to do this–it’s my constitutional right. It is my freedom, but freedom comes with responsibility and if you don’t have responsibility, you quickly lose freedom,” said Mayor Victorino.

“It is really in your hands, ladies and gentlemen. You the visitors, you the residents, it’s your kuleana. It’s your responsibility to act in a safe manner… nobody else can do it for you,” he said. “It’s better to have and not need than need and not have. It’s better to have the vaccination and hope you never need it, than not have it and find out that this variant, the Delta variant, finds you.”

In-Classroom Learning Continues
Mayor Still in Favor or Hybrid or At-Home Learning for Younger Children

Between Aug. 20 and 26, HIDOE schools and complex areas reported a total of 557 confirmed staff and student COVID-19 cases.

Mayor Victorino said discussion on schools was raised again on Friday. “There’s still a tremendous effort to keep our schools open. They believe that they have a better handle on all of this, especially the testing. So I will rely on the governor and the Department of Education, along with the Department of Health for guidance in that area. But I still am in favor, especially for the younger children under 11 who cannot get vaccinated, having some kind of blended learning or stay-at-home learning,” said Mayor Victorino.

“For those between the ages of 12 to 15, vaccination is available under Moderna, which is under Emergency Use Authorization… For those 11 and under, unfortunately, there is none. And hopefully, we believe by fall or early winter, emergency use will be allowed for that particular age group,” said Mayor Victorino.

COVID-19 Testing Offered at Various Locations

State Testing Sites: The Hawaiʻi Department of Health is sponsoring drive-through testing in Wailuku at Mauliola Pharmacy at the J Walter Cameron Center near the Wailuku Police Station. There’s also testing by appointment at Molokaʻi Drugs, and walk-up testing at Rainbow Pharmacy Lānaʻi.

  • Mauliola Pharmacy testing is available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. To book an appointment, visit https://preventcovidhi.com or call 808-446-3722. County officials remind the public that traffic patterns change in the morning, so that they can get the amount of people seeking testing during those hours can be tested.
  • Molokaʻi Drugs: testing is available by appointment. Call 808-553-5790. Hours are Tuesday to Friday, 7:15-8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Rainbow Pharmacy Lānaʻi: walk-up testing is available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 1-5:30 p.m.

County Free Testing: Maui County’s free string program continues in Lahaina (Lahaina Civic Center, temporary site located in the parking lot), Kīhei (1280 South Kīhei Road behind Ace Hardware), and Kahului (348 Lehuakona St. at Maui Marketplace). Those interested in testing appointments at Minit Medical sites, must pre-register at https://www.minitmed.com/pre-register-maui-covid-19. Book online or call 808-667-6161.

Pharmacy Testing: Free COVID-19 testing is also available through a partnership between the US Department of Health and Human Services and CVS, Longs Drugs or Wallgreens in Hawaiʻi. Health care providers should also be able to administer COVID-19 tests.

Vaccinations Widely Available

As of today, Maui County continues to trail all other counties in the percentage of population having completed their vaccinations. Maui has has a fully vaccinated rate of 56%; and 66% of Maui residents have initiated a vaccine.

Vaccination clinics are available for free at various locations around the County.

For elders or homebound who want to get vaccinated at home can call the Maui County Office on Aging at 270-7774 and they will help to schedule at-home vaccinations.

General information on vaccination locations and times is available at https://www.mauinuistrong.info/vaccination-locations

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2021/08/28/mauis-21-day-lockdown-is-voluntary-stricter-rules-still-on-the-table/

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