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‘Safer at Home’ rule lifted for Lanai as COVID-19 wanes

Island hasn’t seen a new case for about two weeks

Lanai will move from “Safer at Home” to the less restrictive “Act with Care” phase starting today after about two weeks of reporting no new COVID-19 cases, county officials said Monday.

The county put Lanai under a “Stay at Home” order Oct. 27 after cases ballooned from zero to 100 in a short period. Nonessential businesses were closed and only essential travel was permitted. On Nov. 12, the island moved down to the “Safer at Home” tier with nonessential travel still not permitted and residents asked to stay at home as much as possible. The order expired Monday after cases held steady at 106 for about two weeks.

Under the “Act with Care” level, county rules still say that high-risk individuals should stay home. The rules also remind people that masks are required and that the amount of people at gatherings is limited along with the less strict travel quarantine measures.

With the new classification, travelers who have a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to travel do not need to quarantine on Lanai. However, results must be in hand prior to departure. Residents can also move more freely about the island.

During a virtual hearing before the state House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness on Monday, Mayor Michael Victorino applauded the work of the residents and officials in getting the numbers down on Lanai, saying that original projections showed that cases could rise to about 300.

While Lanai has seen no new cases, Molokai on Monday reported one new case for the first time in more than a month. The island’s case count is now at 18.

Maui District Health Officer Dr. Lorrin Pang said at the county news conference Monday afternoon that he thought the Molokai case was travel-related, though he wasn’t sure whether the person went to Oahu or traveled trans-Pacific.

Pang said officials are looking for potential contacts and that while he didn’t think the person had caught the virus on Molokai, he could have potentially spread it on island. However, Pang pointed out that the island has been quick to shut down new cases in the past.

“Molokai kind of knows what to do by now to shut down and find them without stigmatizing the contacts,” he said.

County officials also announced Monday that drive-thru COVID-19 testing will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Hana Ball Park.

All participants must pre-register by visiting minitmed.com/pre-register-maui-covid-19.

Participants are asked to come to the test site at their designated time. Drivers can only access the testing area by turning onto Hauoli Road from Hana Highway.

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

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