Mayor Victorino asks for “respectful masking” as COVID-19 case counts rise
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is calling for the public to use “respectful masking” and practice “COVIDsense” amid a rise in hospitalizations on Maui.
“Today there are 23 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized at Maui Memorial Medical Center, three in the ICU and two on ventilators, which is an over 60% increase from just two weeks ago,” Mayor Victorino said in a joint statement issued this afternoon alongside MMMC Chief Medical Director Michael Shea, MD.
“Throughout this pandemic, the residents of Maui County have worked together to slow the spread of COVID-19 to help protect our health care resources. We ask that you continue to do your part with respectful masking, staying informed, and by practicing COVIDsense,” the statement read.
The call comes amid a ninth week in a row of COVID-19 case increases across the state, with 8,924 new infections reported this past week, and five new deaths. On Maui this past week, there were 727 new cases 26 on Molokaʻi, and 18 on Lānaʻi. The new data was released today by the state Department of Health.
“Although masks are no longer required in most public places, it is more important than ever to wear your mask in situations where transmission risk is high – such as indoor spaces like offices, restaurants and bars, retail shops, and public transportation. Mask-wearing outdoors and social distancing can also protect you and others when in close, prolonged contact with groups of people from outside of your household,” according to the joint statement.
Mayor Victorino said the request is in line with advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for areas with the highest risk level for COVID-19 community transmission. The CDC elevated Maui County’s positivity status to high on May 19, 2022.
Statewide, Hawaiʻi and Kalawao counties are the only locations in the state that remain in the medium (yellow) category.
University of Hawaiʻi researchers reportedly are forecasting the current surge to peak some time in June, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser and Hawaii News Now. Both reports were based on forecasts by the Hawaiʻi Pandemic Applied Modeling Group.