Teams of experts from CDC, state Health Department respond to Lanai outbreak

Updated: Nov. 2, 2020 at 5:01 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - There are now 101 coronavirus cases on Lanai, and most remain active, according to Maui Mayor Mike Victorino.

Within the past 10 days, two COVID-19 patients have been airlifted to Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment. Maui Health CEO Michael Rembis said the patients are stable.

“Something like COVID, that they are not used to taking care of, they belong here where we have staff that have dealt with COVID and we have more staff and resources,” said Rembis.

“The health resources on Lanai are not geared toward someone who is really really sick,” he added.

On Monday, a team of experts from the Centers for Disease Control, state Department of Health and Maui Memorial Medical Center arrived on Lanai to meet with medical providers and others.

“We’d like to keep the case count as low as possible. In order to do so, we need to work closely with community partners,” Takako Nakaaki, state epidemiological specialist.

Rembis added, “It’s really a coming together on Lanai to make sure they are getting the care that they need and the resources they need."

Over the weekend, about 400 people were tested as part a mass drive-thru event and results are expected in the coming days.

Health experts are stressing sanitization and mitigation measures like wearing masks, distancing and hand washing.

“Without these measures in place, another cluster may come up and we need everybody’s help from the community,” said Nakaaki.

Dr. Lorrin Pang, of the Health Department’s Maui District Office, said Lanai is moving toward containment and he believes the two-week lockdown should be sufficient.

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