Maui Mayor Calls for Relaxation of COVID-19 Restrictions, Awaiting Governor’s Approval
Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino has called on Hawaii Gov. David Ige to ease some COVID-19 restrictions in the county due to a steady decline in the number of cases, stabilization of the health system and an average 7-day test. positivity rate of 2.22 percent, the lowest in the state.
Victorino did not elaborate on what he asked, just saying, “Businesses large and small, the hospital industry, agriculture and all of our medical fields will be happy to hear some of these changes. And you the resident, because you made it happen, will be the benefactors.
When Victorino was pressed for more details at Friday’s press conference, he said Maui County had called for many of the same easing restrictions that Governor Ige approved for O’ahu today.
“I think that early next week we can ease restrictions at all levels in many areas,” said VIctorino.
With the help of public health warrants that went into effect on September 15, the 7-day average of Maui County’s COVID-19 cases rose from a peak of 57.6 per 100,000 on August 25 to 11.3 today.
However, Victorino stressed that residents and visitors should continue to follow the current restrictions still in place.
County general manager Sandy Baz has also encouraged those who are not vaccinated to do so. Maui County’s vaccination rate is 62% of the total population, the lowest in the state and 10% lower than Honolulu County’s vaccination rate of 72%.
Of the seven people currently hospitalized in Maui with COVID-19, not all are vaccinated, with two people in intensive care and one on a ventilator.
To get vaccinated in Maui, go to www.mauinuistrong.info to find a clinic near you or for the elderly or homebound, call the County’s Office of Aging at 808-270-7774 to take appointment.
The Maui District Health Unit will resume immunizations at the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center on Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. starting next week, across from Starbucks. At all MDHO sites, you do not need to have health insurance to get vaccinated.
Pfizer booster injections are also available at Maui Health for eligible people, including people 65 years of age and older, people living in nursing homes, assisted living residents, family residents of reception and community care residents and people aged 50 to 64 with underlying health problems. People should be fully immunized with the last dose of Pfizer vaccine taken at least six months ago. To register, go to vams.cdc.gov or call 808-242-2273 for assistance.
The Maui District Health Unit also provides Pfizer booster shots, including for those working in an environment that puts them at higher risk (i.e. healthcare, tourism industry, etc. ) Moderna boosters are not currently recommended, but immunocompromised people may receive a 3rd injection of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.