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Friday, April 3, 2020
COVID Reaches Hana: Tourists Blockaded, but Local Resident is Source
By News Release @ 5:47 PM :: 1059 Views :: Maui County, COVID-19

Bytes: Quote: Walt Kelly

Mayor Victorino releases statement on first confirmed case in Hana

News Release from County of Maui April 3, 2020

Mayor Michael Victorino released the following statement on the first confirmed case in Hana.

“The County of Maui was notified early this morning that a test result has returned positive for a female resident of Hana. This individual is in self isolation and has some travel history. The Hawaii Department of Health is investigating this matter and calling close contacts this individual may have had.

I want to tell our Hana residents that we will be doing everything we can to protect their health and safety during these uncertain times. Please stay home as much as possible and practice aloha. We will continue to face these challenges together.”

  *   *   *   *   *

Hana Vigilante Patrols Completely Useless Against Virus

Maui News April 4, 2020: … State Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English, who reported the Hana case via Facebook, called the news alarming, especially since state and county officials had closed Hana Highway from Haiku to Hana and Piilani Highway on the backside to nonresidents March 18.

English, who represents the area and is a resident of Hana, said the closure was meant to safeguard the rural community.

The state has jurisdiction over Hana Highway and the county oversees Piilani Highway, the two access routes to East Maui. Road signs have been posted at entry points, and East Maui residents, along with local law enforcement, have monitored the areas.

The Hana resident with coronavirus is in quarantine, but officials did not disclose where or elaborate on her travel history. The state DOH is investigating the case and alerting anyone who may have been in contact with her.

The news troubled Hana native and resident Harolen Kaiwi, who said that it’s difficult for a tight-knit community to be in the dark with few details about the case.

“We don’t even know where they’re from, if they were a traveler, so we have no answers,” she said in a phone interview Friday evening. “We are still in the dark.”

Kaiwi said the small town has been rallying together to stay safe. “We’re keeping ourselves protected as best we can,” she said.

On Friday, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino doubled-down on warnings to protect Hana and other rural communities.

“I do not believe the Hana community can afford an epidemic; an outbreak would be very devastating to that community,” he said during a news conference. “Please, I ask again, all of you out there who are listening to this, please, Hana should remain shut down. We should not allow any traffic, except for our residents.”

He urged people against driving the back side of Kaupo via Piilani Highway. He also advised people not to venture to Lanai and Molokai and that only essential services and travel are allowed.

There is a 14-day quarantine for nonessential interisland travelers, including between the islands of Maui County, declared by Gov. David Ige this week.

Kaiwi said there has been a lot less traffic, with the exception of a few people from “the other side of the island, who think they can cruise around the island.”

She said tourists rarely are seen. Perhaps the only ones are visitors who were here before quarantine measures took effect and decided to “sit it out.”

She said Hana has vocal residents, called “the protectors,” who are always “looking out” and observing who’s coming through and what’s happening.

“The young gung-hos are always out on the road, making sure nonresidents don’t come through,” she said. “They are taking it a little more calmly now. Nobody really understood what this is all about at first. They just heard we had to protect Hana….

read … Useless Gung Hos

Totally Relevant: Kahuku and Waimanalo Protests show why Hawaii Needs Municipal Government

March 19, 2020: Maui County Stay-Home Order: Tourists Blocked from Road to Hana

March 26, 2020: Maui residents use signs, checkpoints to stop highway travel

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