Stay-at-home order goes into effect for Lanai amid large COVID-19 outbreak

Updated: Oct. 27, 2020 at 1:18 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A stay-at-home order is now in effect for Lanai as the island scrambles to bring a large COVID-19 outbreak under control.

Gov. David Ige signed the order on Monday.

“They do anticipate more cases,” Gov. David Ige said, in a COVID-19 briefing. “The superspreader events seem to be private events. We’re seeing those events can really accelerate cases.”

Health officials said a memorial service is believed to be linked to many of the confirmed cases on the island. Other large gatherings may also be to blame.

"You know you get it from a gathering and then it can be secondarily spread within a household if people aren’t completely isolated,” said Mark Muguiishi, president and CEO of HMSA.

Over the weekend, mass COVID-19 testing events were held on Lanai as authorities sought to understand the scope of the spread. So far, there have been 77 confirmed COVID-19 cases associated with the outbreak along with two more presumptive positives.

Ray Vara, president and CEO of Hawaii Pacific Health, said testing is key to getting asymptomatic people isolated.

“I’ve been impressed with the way we’ve been able to gather folks to do broad scale testing," Vara said.

Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino said this stay-at-home order will remain in effect for at least 14 days and could be extended if needed.

He said those traveling to other islands will need to quarantine when they return.

Residents will only be allowed to leave their homes for essential activities and to visit essential businesses, he said.

[Read more: 15 students at Lanai High and Elementary School test positive for COVID-19]

The first four COVID-19 cases on the island were reported last Tuesday and new infections have been identified daily. Before last week, Lanai (population: 3,000) had seen no COVID-19 cases.

This story will be updated.

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