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New COVID cases reported in Hana and Hale Makua

Akaku staff test negative after case announced Monday

The Maui News

Mayor Michael Victorino confirmed a new case of COVID-19 in Hana on Thursday following free testing in the East Maui community.

“The County of Maui has been notified that a test result has returned positive for a resident of Hana,” Victorino said in a news release. “The person is asymptomatic and in self-isolation and has no recent travel history. The Department of Health is investigating and conducting contact tracing.”

The mayor added that the person was one of about 100 people who were tested in Hana on Wednesday. He said that the county is working closely with DOH officials, who are calling potential close contacts.

“We are hopeful that this has been caught early and can be contained quickly,” Victorino said. “I urge Hana residents to stay home as much as possible and practice aloha by taking all measures to limit the spread of the virus in our community. These include wearing face masks, practicing physical distancing and avoiding gatherings.”

State Sen. J. Kalani English and Rep. Lynn DeCoite, who represent East Maui, scheduled a virtual meeting over Zoom on Thursday night.

Hale Makua Health Services also announced Thursday that an employee at its Kahului facility had tested positive for COVID-19.

The staff member last worked Tuesday and is currently in isolation at home, a news release said.

Due to the current positivity rate on Maui, Hale Makua is doing mandatory testing of all staff monthly. All residents and staff are being tested and re-tested this week to ensure no spread has occurred throughout Hale Makua’s campus. Everyone will be routinely tested over the next 14 days until all results are returned negative for COVID-19.

Hale Makua said that it continues to follow infection control guidelines and protocol by state and federal health agencies, and that the facilities administer routine, mandatory antigen testing of all staff as required by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Meanwhile at Akaku, which had a positive case over the weekend, all staff have tested negative for the virus, the community media nonprofit announced Thursday. There had been little or no exposure to those outside of Akaku, and anyone who may have been at risk was notified, President and CEO Jay April said.

Akaku will remain closed to all but essential production until after the Thanksgiving holiday, and most staff will work from home under self-quarantine in an abundance of caution.

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