LIVE STREAM/End Of Day Recap: Maui Gears Up for Retail Reopening on Monday

May 7, 2020, 3:59 PM HST · Updated May 8, 8:02 AM
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Whalers Village Shopping Center at Kāʻanapali Pkwy, Lahaina during the COVID-19 pandemic. (04.13. 2020) Gaylord Paul Garcia for Maui Now.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino provides his daily update on COVID-19 response in Maui County and offers some insight as businesses prepare for a phased partial reopening of retail stores on Monday, May 11.

Ramping up for Reopening of Retail: 

The county of Maui is ramping up for a Monday partial reopening of retail businesses.  We asked Mayor Victorino about plans for enforcement of health and safety guidelines at newly opened businesses.

“Each store is different.  Depending on the size of the store; how much usable space of that floor plan is retail…  So we’re looking at every aspect,” said Mayor Victorino during an afternoon press conference.

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“As far as enforcement, as I said, I’m going to put a group of people together who will be like the eyes and ears.  They’ll be my roving patrol, if you want to use that term.  They will be out there checking on the various stores.  Are they following the right sanitation procedures?” he said.

“I’ve seen most of the stores that I’ve walked into, they already have their blocks, they have their lines, they have the tape on the floor.  We’re going to make sure everybody does it the right way.  We’re going to go on the honor system the first day or two and then have people go out and check and to see if it’s being done right.  And hopefully, you won’t have many problems.  I expect some mistakes and some challenges, but no one is going to be 100% perfect.  But I think we all work together, we will accomplish what we want–The reopening of Maui County,” said Mayor Victorino.

Maui retail shops are using the weekend to prepare for the first phase of partial reopening on Monday.  As they do, Mayor Victorino said discussion will take place to assess moderate and higher risk businesses including salons to determine timelines for the next phase.

“We’re going to wait a week or two to see how this first round works to make sure that the implementation was done correctly and that they’re following the policies and rules set forth.  Once that has been determined, then we’ll move on to phase two, or go back and say no-no, we have to wait a little longer.  I’m hoping everyone will do the right thing–be mindful of what they do will have an effect on others. And really, that this is their kuleana.  We’re really counting on them to do the right thing,” he said.

Hawai‘i Legislature to Reconvene on May 11 After Nearly 2 Month Recess

The state Senate and House will reconvene the 2020 legislative session on Monday, May 11 after a nearly two month recess. The Legislature has been in recess since March 17 when one lawmaker tested positive for the coronavirus.  Although the State Capitol will be closed to the general public, the public will have an opportunity to submit written testimony and to observe all proceedings through livestream.  The session is expected to last at least six legislative days and will focus on stabilizing the state budget and budget-related bills in anticipation of a $1 billion shortfall in state revenues.

900 Bags of food distributed ot Central Maui Residents in Need

About 1,000 bags of food were distributed Thursday, May 7, at the War Memorial Gymnasium parking lot to individuals impacted by COVID-19 in Central Maui.  Over 6,000 bags of food have been given to residents impacted by COVID-19 through food distributions across Maui County over the course of the pandemic. The distribution was a collaborative effort with VIP Foodservice, Maui County Farm Bureau, Mahi Pono, Valley Isle Fellowship, the Hawaii National Guard, Alaska Airlines, Maui Police Department, the Maui County Department of Parks & Recreation, Office of the Mayor and countless volunteers.

H.E.L.P. Program Update

Maui Economic Opportunity continues to run the County’s Hawaii Emergency Laulima Partnership program which assists residents who have lost their jobs and are struggling financially due to COVID-19.  As of today, MEO has received about 2,000 applications and processed nearly 1,700 applications.  The program has committed more than $700,000 to applicants.  County officials say the greatest need continues to be rent and food.

Unemployment Update: 141,077 Claims Processed, Additional 84,500 Under Review

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has processed an estimated 141,000 claims to date–that’s just shy of 63% of the total claims received.  Of those processed, 100,602 unemployment claims were paid out, with the residual 40,000 claims being denied.  Since the start of COVID-19 response in Hawaiʻi, the state has paid out over $320 million in benefits; including $19 million which was paid out yesterday.  Unemployment claims in Maui County were last projected at around 37,000. Click here for the full story.

*Video courtesy County of Maui and Akakū.

Posted by County of Maui on Thursday, May 7, 2020

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