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Mayor encourages everyone to remain vigilant on holiday

More than 10,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Maui County with nearly 99 percent returning negative, said Maui County Managing Director Sandy Baz on Monday afternoon.

He added that less than half of the county’s ICU beds are in use and none are for COVID-19 patients. Also, just 11 percent of ventilators are in use, and none are for coronavirus patients. County officials have said there are 28 ventilators in the county.

Five emergency bridge ventilators, which were made by local Maui companies, each will be sent to Hana, Molokai and Lanai, Baz said.

“Statewide emergency management agencies, health officials and county leaders continue to review and increase surge capacity in preparation for future outbreaks,” Baz said during the county’s daily news conference.

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino offered an update on the county’s total cases, noting a case reported Sunday was removed Monday. Testing was improper and the case should not have been reported.

Maui County’s COVID-19 count is now 122, with two on Molokai and none on Lanai.

But Oahu saw a spike in cases last week. Victorino said some of the cases are related to a funeral on Oahu. He cautioned that large gatherings still are not supposed to occur.

The state total as of noon Monday was 900 cases, with two new cases reported on Oahu. The two newly reported cases come after 27 were reported Sunday and other double-digit increases last week.

As the Fourth of July weekend approaches Saturday, Victorino said he wants people to have a nice time but called for social distancing, smaller gatherings and no barbecues in public areas.

He said Maui police, along with county park rangers and state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers, will be out during the holidays checking on beaches.

There also will be roving police checkpoints on the lookout for impaired drivers.

Victorino warned people to not drink and drive and to refrain from shooting off fireworks. He said he didn’t want to see fires, especially with the island so dry.

“I love to have a tragic free Fourth of July. Let’s work all together to make that happen,” Victorino said.

In other developments:

• Victorino will be making an announcement regarding youth swim clubs and masters swim clubs and use of county pools by Wednesday or Thursday. The clubs have been seeking to train at the pools, which only are open to reservations for individuals.

• Victorino will be extending the waiver of credit card convenience fees and transaction fees for all county bills, except real property taxes. The fees will be waived through Sept. 30 for payments, such as solid waste residential trash accounts, water and motor vehicle registration renewals. For more information, call the Department of Finance at 270-7722.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.

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