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Mayor calls for crackdown on social gathering rule offenders

Mayor: We’ve had certain groups that basically have gone on a rampage

As the state continues logging single-day records of COVID-19 cases, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino warned that law enforcement will begin cracking down on social gatherings that exceed the 10-person limit and other emergency-rule violations.

Last week, Victorino reduced the allowable number of people at indoor and outdoor social gatherings, but still there were several reports of large social gatherings at parks and beaches.

“Responsible actions will prevent this COVID-19 from spreading even when you get a large gathering, but we’re not being responsible, so it gave me no choice but to step back,” Victorino said Monday afternoon at a news conference.

Hawaii reported a new single-day record of 207 cases Monday, though the state Department of Health said that more than half of the cases were the result of delayed reporting from a major testing lab.

Of the 207 new cases reported, 198 were on Oahu, seven on Maui and two on Hawaii island.

“Many of these cases have been attributed to social gatherings, whether it’s funerals, parties, beach parties, and we’ve had certain groups that basically have gone on a rampage, and they’re going all over to Kipahulu, Baby Beach, Paia, Little Beach in Makena, and I warned them that if they keep that up, we’re going to start having arrests done,” he said. “I told the police, enough warnings, start arresting. Enough citations, let’s start going after them because this is enough.

“We are endangering our community.” 

As a result of an increase in cases, specifically on Oahu, Victorino said there have been discussions on shutting down the state again and reinstating the 14-day quarantine for interisland travelers, which he urged Gov. David Ige to do.

“We don’t want to go back to stay-at-home (orders), that will be the last resort,” he said. “If the numbers and cases remain high over the next week or two, then we may not have a choice, and again, if we lock down Oahu, we’re closing down the entire state, let’s be realistic and there’s not much that is going to be happening.” 

* Dakota Grossman can be reached at dgrossman@mauinews.com.

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