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As lockdown lifts on Lanai, residents are left confused over rules

Updated: Nov. 11, 2020 at 10:49 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The lockdown for Lanai residents will come to an end at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

That’s when Lanaians will transition from a “stay-at-home” order to a “safer-at-home” order.

“I think everyone is ready to move to the next level. Nobody likes to be locked down and to stay at home,” said Lanai resident Kelli Gima.

The state approved the county’s request to move into a “safe-at-home” order last month after an outbreak of coronavirus cases.

The island of about 3,000 residents recorded a total of 106 COVID-19 cases, three hospitalizations and no deaths. There have been no new cases since last week.

Local leaders held a zoom meeting for community members Wednesday evening to answer questions about what’s now allowed.

While Gima says she appreciates the effort, she said many residents are still left confused about the rules.

“Really wanting clarification on travel,” Gima said. “If they could come out with some kind of document, a very simple chart, these are the travel scenarios, this is what you have to do,” Gima said.

The county’s website states, “Travelers to Lanai will still be required to quarantine, unless exempt by pre-travel testing for COVID-19 or approved for an essential work-related limited quarantine.”

County officials said Lanai residents are subject to the same statewide rules on interisland travel as everyone else.

One exception is that Maui and Molokai residents can travel between the two islands unrestricted.

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said since the outbreak, they have conducted thousands of tests.

“We’ve done about 4,000 tests to this point on Lanai,” said Victorino.

“It’s 95% out of the woods. It’s still there within the families. You have large families ping ponging within the family so no surprises,” said Maui District Health Officer Dr. Lorrin Pang.

Victorino said if Lanai sees no new COVID cases for the next two weeks, residents will move into the next phase – “Act with Care.”

“What Lanai has proven is that COVID will be everywhere at some point. Every community at some point will have it. So, it’s the question of how prepared you are,” said State Sen. Kalani English, who represents the island.

Victorino said they are looking at another island-wide surge testing the week after Thanksgiving.

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