Gym and Community Center in Wailuku Among Maui Sites Eyed for Overflow Patients

March 27, 2020, 2:01 PM HST · Updated March 28, 3:53 PM
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*Video stream courtesy County of Maui Facebook / Akaku

LIVE: Mayor Victorino COVID-19 Update, March 27, 2 p.m.

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Mayor Victorino announces $2 million HELP program to assist residents impacted by the COVID-19 crisis

Mayor Michael Victorino signed a relief bill today to launch a $2 million program to assist residents who’ve been severely impacted with job losses from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis.

“Maui County is establishing the Hawaii Emergency Laulima Program (HELP) to make available $2 million to assist residents who’ve suffered economic hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Victorino said.  “In this unprecedented time of uncertainty, we want to reach out to our hard-hit hotel, restaurant, retail and other workers who’ve seen their source of livelihood shut down to slow down the spread of this disease.”

“Assistance is intended to make payments for critical needs,” Mayor Victorino said. “We hope to help thousands of households stay afloat during this difficult time. This assistance is for food, medicine, rent, mortgage, utility payments, phone or Internet service, car payments or insurance (car, home and medical).”

The County will be working with Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. to implement the program, and provide more details and information to the public.

War Memorial Gym and Velma McWayne Santos Community Center Among Sites Considered by USACE for Patient Overload

During his press conference, Mayor Victorino revealed some further details about the US Army Corps of Engineers site visit today as they assess potential locations across the state to accommodate overflow patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said may of the sites visited are in Central Maui, with others in South Maui and West Maui.

“The sites that were looked at are really sites that they believe could help us if an out break were to occur both for separation of regular medical, COVID-19 patients, quarantine stations–all of these are under consideration; however, like you saw last night, they showed you the (Hawaiʻi) Convention Center because it’s a public facility,” said Mayor Victorino about the Oahu assessment that also included the Neal S. Blaisdell Center.

“Most of the facilities that we looked at were private and they’ve asked for anonymity at this time,” said Mayor Victorino, noting that the two public facilities being considered on Maui are the War Memorial Gymnasium and the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center, both in Wailuku.

“Beyond that, the rest of the seven other sites are private,” said Mayor Victorino.

Visitor Industry Impacts:

The mayor also noted that at least 14 hotels on the island have temporarily suspended operations with an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 workers from the hotel industry laid off.

“We are looking forward with the programs that we are bringing out to assist these workers during this layoff period.  Again, I would advise them to go get their unemployment, do the best they can; and we have programs coming.  One of them is the HELP program, which I was informed this morning that the council did pass,” said Mayor Victorino.  “As soon as it arrives on my desk, I will tell you, it will be signed immediately.”

Maui Arrivals By Air Slow to Trickle

Passenger arrivals by air have slowed to a trickle on Maui on Thursday, the first day of the state’s 14-day mandatory self-quarantine for all incoming passengers.

Maui had a total of 136 passengers arriving on the Valley Isle, including 81 crew members, 44 residents and 11 visitors, according to new numbers compiled by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Association.

Hawai‘i Coronavirus Count Now 120: 14 New Cases, Maui Total is 16

As of noon on Friday, March 27, 2020, the state total count of positive coronavirus cases was 120, including 9 new cases on Oʻahu; two new cases each on Maui and Hawaiʻi Island; and one new case that is pending residency determination. Maui’s island count is now 16.

There have been no COVID-19 related deaths in Hawaiʻi to date.

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