Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is urging the public to use “respectful masking” and practice “COVIDsense” as Maui’s hospitalizations surge.
“Today, 23 patients with COVID-19 are hospitalized at Maui Memorial Medical Center, three in the ICU and two on ventilators, an increase of over 60% from just two weeks ago,” Mayor Victorino said in a joint statement released today Released alongside this afternoon was MMMC Chief Medical Director Michael Shea, MD.
“During this pandemic, Maui County residents have worked together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help protect our healthcare resources. We ask that you continue to do your part by respectfully masking yourself, staying informed, and practicing COVIDsense‘ was the explanation.
The call comes amid a ninth straight week of COVID-19 case increases across the state, with 8,924 new infections and five new deaths reported over the past week. There were 727 new cases in Maui in the past week, 26 in Molokaʻi and 18 in Lānaʻi. The new data was released today by the state Department of Health.
“Although masks are no longer required in most public places, it is more important than ever to wear your mask in situations where there is a high risk of transmission – such as indoor locations such as offices, restaurants and bars, retail stores and public transport. Wearing masks outdoors and social distancing can also protect you and others when you are in close, prolonged contact with groups of people outside your household,” the joint statement said.
Mayor Victorino said the request is in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for areas with the highest risk levels for community transmission of COVID-19. The CDC upgraded Maui County’s positivity status to high on May 19, 2022.
Statewide, Hawaii and Kalawao counties are the only locations in the state to remain in the middle (amber) category.
According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser and Hawaii News Now, researchers at the University of Hawaii are reportedly predicting the current surge will peak sometime in June. Both reports were based on forecasts from the Hawaiʻi Pandemic Applied Modeling Group.