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Pools to reopen with reservations only

In-person religious services allowed to resume today with social distancing

Personnel from Maui Police Department and the National Guard confirm a motorist is an East Maui resident before allowing the car to continue Thursday morning on Hana Highway. Police officers and Guard members were staffing a checkpoint near Twin Falls, which also is closed. As of 11 a.m., about 10 nonresident drivers were turned around, they said. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

Residents hoping to use county pools once they reopen Monday must make reservations and will be limited to exercise only, a parks official said. 

Deputy Parks and Recreation Director John Buck said during a news conference Thursday that pools will be open for 45-minute lap swimming only and constant lane walking at the Kihei training pool. Lanes will be widened and limited to one person per lane.

“This allows us to control the social distancing with the lane lines,” Buck explained.

The pools reopening Monday are the Coach Soichi Sakamoto Pool at the War Memorial Complex, Kihei Aquatic Center, Lahaina Aquatic Center, Upcountry Pool and Cooke Memorial Pool on Molokai. Kokua Pool, which is undergoing renovation at Kahului Community Center, the Coach Spencer Shiraishi Memorial Pool in Kahului and Wailuku Pool will remain closed.

People wanting to make reservations can call 270-6116 starting at 8 a.m. Saturday. The phone message will direct the caller to the pool for which they would like to make a reservation. Reservations will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be made earlier than 48 hours in advance. All users will be limited to one reservation per person per day.

While travel by nonresidents to East Maui was restricted March 18 by Gov. David Ige, there was no official enforcement until mid-April, when permanent checkpoints were established at Twin Falls and past Keokea.

No same-day reservations or walk-ups will be allowed.

Buck said that social distancing measures will be added to pool facilities, and that face coverings will be required when swimmers are not in the pool. Once people arrive, they must stay outside of the gate until their reservation. They must come dressed for swimming, as locker rooms will not be open.

Meanwhile, in-person religious services will be allowed to resume today. Attendees must keep 6 feet away from one another, except for members of the same household, Managing Director Sandy Baz said. Choir singers should be spaced at least 10 feet away from one another and are not required to wear masks.

Organizers and staff should follow current county, state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/index.html.

Most businesses will be allowed to reopen with health and safety guidelines in place Monday. These include county parks and beach parks, fitness and recreational facilities, clubhouses, dog parks and playgrounds.

County gyms and community centers remain closed, along with bars and nightclubs, public gathering venues, theaters and banquet halls.

Gatherings of more than 10 people and community events are still not allowed, and county parks and beaches will not be open to organized or contact sports, commercial activities, camping or use of grills. 

Updated rules for county facilities and businesses will be posted at mauicounty.gov. 

All state park areas are open for day use only. All overnight uses, including camping, are prohibited, Baz said. Park hours may be limited; for more information, visit dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/maui.

On state trails, hikers must keep at least 20 feet away from one another, and no groups of more than two people are allowed unless they are part of the same family unit.

At state beaches, groups must be limited to single families, with none over 10 people. Those not part of the same family must be at least 6 feet away from one another.

During the news conference Thursday, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino also announced that:

• Pulama Lana’i is extending full wages and benefits for its workers through June 30. 

• For those who are losing their health insurance during this time, local agencies are offering to help. Kecia Sakugawa, Med-QUEST health care coordinator, said that Medicaid users will not lose their coverage, and those who do not qualify for Medicaid can search and apply for local health plans on the federal health insurance marketplace at healthcare.gov.

Maui County residents may qualify for subsidies, such as premium tax credits, which lower the costs of monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs for doctors visits or medications, Sakugawa said. For more information or for help with the insurance enrollment process, contact the state DHS Med-QUEST Division at (808) 341-4030 or at ksakugawa@dhs.hawaii.gov; Imua Family Services at 244-7467 or info@imuafamilyservices.org; or Malama I Ke Ola Health Center at 872-4007.

* Colleen Uechi can be reached at cuechi@mauinews.com.

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