Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: Preventing Spread of Coronavirus

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This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. PC: Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM. Content provider: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS

Mayor Michael Victorino answers some of the most-asked questions.

Q: Aloha Mr. Victorino, we would like to know what has been done to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on Maui so far. Mahalo.

A: Mahalo for your question, and I’d like to quickly remind the public that information on the coronavirus may change at any time so this information may differ from what is currently being reported.


The State DOH has taken the lead on providing daily updates to the public on COVID-19, so I highly recommend you visit their website. To subscribe for email updates, visit

My office receives daily updates from the Governor’s Office and DOH, which are actively preparing for possible cases with help from the County of Maui and other state and federal partners including the medical community in Hawaii. As of Friday, Feb. 28, the Health Department is now capable of in-state testing for COVID-19 and, on average, results can be ready within 24 to 48 hours of a sample being collected. This will be a major help to our prevention and mitigation response efforts.

The Maui District Health Office, led by Dr. Lorrin Pang, has also been a resource for my administration and their office continues to monitor for possible cases. Our emergency response partners, including officials from the visitor industry and utilities companies, have also been receiving regular updates and guidance on dealing with concerns related to the coronavirus.


Kahului Airport plans to receive additional hand sanitizer stations and all airlines are making extra efforts to sanitize their equipment and stations, and have ramped up cleaning of planes. Additionally, my office will be ramping up public messaging in partnership with the State DOH to keep our community informed and protected.

While our County staff and partners continue to make preparations, I would like the public’s assistance in detecting and minimizing COVID-19 within our community. This includes preparing a family plan and storing a 14-day supply of food, water and other necessities for your loved ones and pets, as well as a three-month supply of any needed medication.

I do want to discourage residents from hoarding supplies, though, and asking everyone to remain calm. Simple steps we can all take to help limit the spread of illness include washing hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water; covering your mouth with a sleeve or a mask when coughing or sneezing; and staying home when ill.


I want to mahalo all of our partners in Maui County and across the state for remaining vigilant and committed to keeping our communities safe.

Want to Ask the Mayor?

Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email at [email protected], by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email [email protected].

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