Maui Coronavirus Updates

Mayor: Testing at Harbor Lights Results in 30-plus COVID-19 Cases

By Wendy Osher
January 1, 2021, 6:05 AM HST
* Updated January 2, 7:51 PM
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Thirty-plus COVID-19 cases have been identified at the Harbor Lights condominium complex in Kahului on Maui, according to an update provided Thursday afternoon by Maui Mayor Michael Victorino.

That’s up from the 10 cases identified earlier in the week from an initial assessment.

The new count was identified through on-site testing at the complex conducted on Thursday in coordination with the County of Maui, the Maui District Health Office and Minit Medical Urgent Care.

County officials said they had been unsuccessful at obtaining permissions to sanitize and disinfect public areas of the property to date. “I want everyone to know that we are trying our best,” said Mayor Victorino.

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Maui Now reached out to the Harbor Lights Condo Association for comment and insight on the situation and is awaiting response. *This post will be updated if/when comments are received.

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“I’m talking with the Attorney General, to go in there and force cleanup. It may be an option, but they’ll let me know on Monday if I can do that or not,” Mayor Victorino shared in a press briefing on New Year’s Eve.

Mayor Notes Uptick in Hospitalizations, Says Capacity is Still “Very Good”

Mayor Victorino also noted that the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations on Maui had risen to 11 by Thursday afternoon, up from just two hospitalizations a week earlier. He said that two or three COVID-19 patients would be released in the next couple of days. None of those hospitalized for COVID-19 were in the ICU or on ventilators.

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 “Our hospital capacity is still running very good,” however, Mayor Victorino said, “we know there is a spread that has come about to the island.” He noted that there were 415 new cases for Maui in December.  That’s 38 percent of the total 1086 cases for Maui County to date.

“There’s been an uptick, and the hospital is much better prepared… there is no spread within our hospital. The spread is within our community,” said Mayor Victorino.

“If this doesn’t change very soon, we may have to go to the next level which is ‘Safer at Home,’ for our community,” the mayor cautioned.  

Amended Public Health Emergency Rules Approved:

Social Gatherings Reduced to 5; Further Limit on Occupancy at Bars and Restaurants and 10 p.m. Closing Time

The governor did approve the Mayor’s request to amend Maui County’s Public Health Emergency Rules. Effective at 12:01 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, the following changes will take place:

  • Social gatherings will decrease to five individuals. This applies to people who are not of the same household.
  • Limiting bar and restaurant occupancy to no more than 30 percent of allowed interior occupancy. This is down from 50 percent.  “This also goes for many of the stores that have been opening up–and grocery stores, Costco–and all of that have assured us that they are trying to maintain these numbers,” said Mayor Victorino.
  • Bars and restaurants are now being asked to close by 10 p.m. on each evening. 

Mayor Victorino said these steps were being taken to lessen the spread of the virus on Maui.  

“2020 has been a heck of a year,” said Mayor Victorino. “A year that I never expected… as mayor of Maui County. But overall I will say most of you have done a terrific job preventing spread.”

“The unemployment situation has gotten better, but not as good as I think it should be. We can expect more help with the stimulus package that’s just been passed by Congress and signed by the president,” he said.

“Let’s enter the New Year with new optimism–with the vaccine on the horizon–and hopefully by no later than this summer, all of us being able to get our vaccination,” he said.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.
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