Mayor: ‘Stay at home, work from home’
County cracks down as virus cases rise statewide, on Maui
Two more cases of COVID-19 were reported in Maui County on Sunday as Mayor Michael Victorino urged residents to “stay at home and work from home” under emergency rules that go into effect Wednesday.
“The health and safety of our community has always been my top priority and I believe we need to take bold actions if we are to stop the spread of this virus,” Victorino said in a news release Sunday. “I am ordering all our residents to stay at home and our visitors to stay in their rooms as much as possible.”
Victorino said that critical services like fire, police, medical, wastewater and refuse would continue, and that people could still access groceries and essential supplies.
The addition to the emergency rules that Victorino announced last week calls for people to stay at home or a place of lodging except for “essential activities, essential businesses or government operations.”
Where possible, county departments will use telework and other methods to provide distancing while making sure services continue, the county said.
No public or private gatherings should take place outside the home.
The new order will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday and last through April 30.
The county said that essential activities include:
• Actions essential to maintain health and safety, like getting medicine or seeing a doctor.
• Getting food, pet food and supplies necessary for staying at home.
• Doing solitary outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running.
• Performing work to operate an essential business or essential government function.
• Caring for a family member in another household.
• Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, person with disabilities or other vulnerable persons.
Travel is limited to essential activities or operation of essential businesses or essential government function.
The government and private services or businesses that may remain open include:
• First responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, law enforcement and County of Maui personnel.
• Health care operations, including home health workers.
• Essential infrastructure, including operation of public transportation and utilities.
• Grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores.
• Businesses that provide necessities of life for economically disadvantaged individuals and shelter facilities.
• Pharmacies, health care supply stores and health care facilities.
• Gas stations, auto repair facilities and auto supply stores.
• Financial institutions.
• Refuse collection.
• Hardware, lumber and building materials stores.
• Maintenance service providers, like plumbers, electricians, exterminators necessary to maintain safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences and businesses.
• Laundromats and laundry service providers.
• Businesses that primarily ship or deliver groceries, food and goods.
• Childcare facilities that enable essential employees to go to work.
• Newspapers, television, radio and other media.
• Construction and maintenance, public and private.
• Agricultural operations.
• Businesses that supply other essential business with support or supplies necessary to operate.
• Business conducting legally mandated activities.
• Businesses that provide food, shelter and other necessities of life for animals, including animal shelters, rescues, kennels and adoption facilities.
• Funeral, mortuary, cremation, burial, cemetery and related services, provided the services comply with social distancing requirements at all times reasonably possible.
• Public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities for distance learning and essential functions.
Public and private facilities and businesses required to close include:
• All businesses not listed as “essential businesses.”
• Bars, nightclubs, theaters, public gathering venues and tourist attractions.
• Gyms, recreation facilities and other places of public gathering, regardless of size.
• County parks, golf course and beach parks.
• Businesses not needed to support essential governmental or essential business functions.
Restaurants and cafes will be allowed to provide takeout and delivery service.
A violation of the rules is punishable as a misdemeanor, with fines of up to $5,000, up to a year in jail or both.
For more information, visit mauicounty.gov.
Meanwhile, cases continued to rise over the weekend. On Saturday, the state reported 11 new positive or presumptive coronavirus cases, including two on Maui, for a statewide total of 48.
By noon Sunday, there were eight more new cases on two islands, bringing the total cases to 56, according to the state’s Joint Information Center. The report did not specify which islands, however, cases rose from 35 to 41 in the City and County of Honolulu and from seven to nine in Maui County.
All of the new cases were Hawaii residents. Three people have required hospitalization, and two remain hospitalized, the report said. Travel histories are pending, however two of the new cases involved definite travel, while two had contact with travelers. One of the cases reported Sunday was a child. Of the total cases, 54 are adults and two are pediatric cases. And, 48 are residents, while eight are visitors.
State Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo said she did not have additional information on the new Maui cases Saturday. She explained that health officials aren’t able to complete interviews with the patients on the same day that they get the reports. Many results are coming from private labs, and once the state gets that information, they try to contact the patient.
“All of that takes time,” Okubo said Sunday. “We’re talking about eight to 10 cases every day. As we progress in this and we have more and more cases, they’re probably not going to be able to get as much information as they did before.”
* Colleen Uechi can be reached at email@example.com.