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As cases rise, Maui’s mayor eyes more testing — and restrictions

"Unfortunately, we're seeing what the entire state is seeing ... an increase in the number of cases."
Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 6:47 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 27, 2021 at 9:56 PM HST
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WAILUKU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As coronavirus cases rise on the Valley Isle, the mayor says he is looking at reinstating some restrictions and promises to provide more testing for residents.

“We’re going to start surge testing next week,” said Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino. “Where we can do between 1,000 and 1,200 additional tests each and every day.”

Victorino said they plan to run the testing clinic six days a week and will implement night time hours, but details are forthcoming.

Meanwhile, Maui Memorial Medical Center officials say seven people with the disease are now in the hospital and two are in the Intensive Care Unit.

“Unfortunately, we’re seeing what the entire state is seeing – an increase in the number of cases,” said Maui Health System CEO Michael Rembis.

The positivity rate in Maui County has more than doubled in four days. It is now almost nine percent – the second highest in the state.

“Those that are being hospitalized either are not vaccinated or they just have one or two of their shots,” Rembis said. “We are seeing that the third shot is making a major difference.”

As 2021 comes to an end and residents prepare for the new year, health and county officials are pleading for the public to get vaccinated and boosted.

“We’re really concerned about New Years. In Hawaii, like everywhere else, we enjoyed friends and we enjoy our family. Everyone enjoy New Years, but it’s so important everybody be safe,” Rembis said.

Victorino encourages those having celebrations to keep it outdoors.

“Remember that when you’re in a party environment, everything you do can hurt not only yourself, your family, and your community. So, it’s really your responsibility, get your booster,” said Victorino.

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