HONOLULU (KHON2) — A cluster of nine coronavirus cases was reported from Maui Memorial Medical Center.
These include four health care workers and five patients. Maui Mayor Mike Victorino said travel is no longer to blame for the spread, and said that it is now community spread.
The Maui Memorial workers who tested positive for the virus are under quarantine at home, while the patients are in isolation.
Maui County also saw a higher than usual case count on Thursday with seven cases in the same week the inter-island two-week quarantine went into effect.
“There are a few cases that are now showing up there, but we are going to have them, those cases are attributed to more community spread,” Victorino said. “And that’s the dangerous fact ladies and gentlemen, we cannot blame visitors, we can blame our residents.”
A Maui Health spokesperson told KHON2 News through a statement, “Testing will resume throughout the two-week incubation period within the affected units, along with ongoing employee testing for high-risk units, and surveillance testing for other potentially affected units as
an additional precaution.”
Maui Memorial Medical Center was faced with a cluster of 56 COVID-19 cases back in April, 36 staff members and 20 patients tested positive.
The Hawaii State Department of Health considered the outbreak closed in May.
Victorino said there have been improvements in the protocol to prevent the virus from spreading.
He said, “I am confident we have a better handle and better procedures in place this time.”
Victorino said he does not doubt the facility’s ability to get the cases under control, but he cannot extend the same thoughts towards plans to reopen trans-Pacific travel.
He said, “I don’t think we will have anybody ready by September 1.”
Meanwhile, Kauai County, which has the fewest number of infections is now reporting seven active cases. Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami, said some are connected to inter-island travel.
Kawakami said, “Most of our recent cases are related to travel, this is an important reminder that now is not a good time to participate in leisurely travel.”
The number of active cases on the Big Island stands at 22.
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