KAHULUI, Hawaii (KHON2) — Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said testing at Harbor Lights Condominium will continue this week after a cluster of 68 COVID-19 cases were detected since Christmas.
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The interim manager of the complex, Steven Johnson said he first heard about a case on Christmas day, and by New Year’s Day approximately 30 cases were found from testing a day before.
“I think testing is one of the best ways that we can get a handle on what’s going on here,” Johnson said. “I’m hoping that the management here can start getting a little bit more information about that testing.”
Johnson said it would be helpful to get an accurate up to date count to know the level of transmission that is happening at the complex without divulging a resident’s private information. He said the Department of Health does not tell the manager which units that are in isolation.
Maui County’s Deputy Managing Director Josiah Nishita called on the community to be helpful during these moments with donations and not through stigma.
Nishita said, “We please ask the public to not stigmatize individuals from Harbor Lights. We are all one community. We’re all in this together.”
Nishita said DOH contact tracers connected the spark of the cluster back to holiday choir rehearsals.
In the last 14 days, Maui County detected 287 positive cases. The test positivity rate in Kahului, where the complex is located, is red with a 4.3% test positivity rate. Lahaina is also red with a 5.3% positivity rate in the last 14 days.
The sanitization of Harbor Lights Condominium is being rescheduled with a county contractor. When the contractor first arrived to clean and sanitize the complex on Sunday, a misunderstanding took place between a resident and the contractor. A resident called 9-1-1 claiming respiratory distress due to chemicals, but the fire department informed the resident the sanitization process from the contractor had not yet started.
Nishita said the contractor ultimately left the premise after another resident confronted them.
Mayor Victorino said the misunderstanding has been addressed. Johnson said they are working together to arrange another date with the contractor.
Residents of the complex are being asked to wear masks in common areas and to avoid socializing and having guests over.
The county will once again set-up testing for the residents this week.
“This Thursday we will have onsite inspection by our minute medical, and testing will be done there,” Victorino said. “The residents don’t have to leave the facility and they can go downstairs and get it done.”
Victorino said they will continue to do follow-up testing as long as its needed. Maui County officials expect more cases connected to this cluster as more testing gets done.
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