HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui County’s mayor says authorities are making a major push to test two-thirds of Lanai’s population this weekend amid a growing outbreak of COVID-19.
“For an island of 3,000 people, that’s a big goal. So the National Guard is going over there to help with logistics and our police department,” said Mayor Michael Victorino.
State health officials say the number of infected people on the island is 38. However, state Rep. Lynn DeCoite, whose district includes Lanai, said contact tracers told her the number is as high as 45.
The county will get the assistance of the National Guard on testing and sanitizing. An island-wide lockdown could be ordered this weekend to help stop the spread.
“Get whatever you need to get done. Do whatever traveling or shopping you have to do over the weekend as much as possible,” Victorino said.
DeCoite said the outbreak is mostly impacting the Pacific Islander community.
Shrue Sigrah tested positive for the virus on Wednesday. She and her husband have eight children. Three of her kids are also positive for the virus so the four of them are now isolating from the rest of the family.
“Good thing we have three-bedroom and two-bath. So I decided to use my room and my bathroom as an isolation room,” Sigrah said.
She said her symptoms started Saturday night.
“A severe headache. Sunday, I started with the body aches,” she said. “Monday morning, I woke up, I don’t feel anything. So I decided to go to work.”
Sigrah works at Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay where state officials say the island’s first three positive cases showed up on Tuesday.
Up until Tuesday, the island had been coronavirus free.
“It’s here now. Things got real,” said Lanai resident Nick Palumbo. “The mood is more serious here.”
Victorino said he will make a decision by Friday night if a lockdown is needed. He said the earliest a shutdown would take effect would be Monday at 12:01 a.m.
“When I make my decision it’s based on all the medical advice that I get the various medical groups as well as the business sector and the community at large,” he said.
Sigrah believes the lock down needs to happen immediately.
“I feel bad for the kupuna or old people or people who have sickness. I wish the island would shut down, like totally close down” said Sigrah. “Whoever didn’t take the test I really wish and hope they take the test."
Everyone 15 years old and older is encouraged to get tested Saturday at the Old Dole Administration Building from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
To get an appointment, call the Straub Medical Center-Lanai Clinic at 808-565-6423 or the Lanai Community Health Center at 808-565-6919.
Testing is also available Monday to Saturday at the clinic and health center.