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King, panel to discuss COVID-19 rise on Maui

Maui County Council Member Kelly King will host a virtual town hall from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday to discuss the recent surge of COVID cases on Maui and the county’s response to the pandemic.

The webinar is open to the public and will feature the following panelists:

• Steve O’Neal, a former U.N. disaster response team leader and Kauai resident who will discuss Kauai County’s response and Maui’s current surge, as well as offer suggestions to reduce the spread and impact of the virus on Maui.

• Dr. Michael Shea, chief medical director of Maui Health, who will discuss vaccinations and updates from Maui Health and Maui Memorial Medical Center.

• Council Members Gabe Johnson of Lanai, Shane Sinenci of Hana and Keani Rawlins-Fernandez of Molokai via pre-recorded video, and Lisa Darcy of houselessness advocacy group Share Your Mana, who will describe COVID-19’s impact on Maui County’s isolated communities.

• State Rep. Tina Wildberger of South Maui’s District 11, who will outline the state Legislature’s response to the pandemic.

The Office of the Mayor has not confirmed participation but has been invited, according to a news release from King’s office.

There will be time for public questions and panelist discussion after each topic. To conclude the town hall, King will lead a converation to summarize concerns and possible solutions and plan next steps for Maui County.

“While there is a lot going on at the national level, tensions are also rising here at home about the increasing numbers of positive cases of the virus, with the number of new daily cases climbing to 56 on January 7,” King said in the news release. “Our office has heard many questions and concerns from constituents in recent weeks regarding public health and a lack of information. This has everyone on edge, which is one of the reasons the County Council urged the Mayor, by unanimous resolution, to create a multi-stakeholder task force.”

To participate in the webinar, visit zoom.us/j/9824433 4389. The event will also be livestreamed at facebook.com/ CMKellyTKing. For updates and reminders about the event, follow King on Facebook and Twitter @CMKellyKing.

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