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12 Positive Cases in Molokai Cluster So Far

This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available

There are 12 confirmed active COVID-19 cases on island as of May 14. The cluster originated from Maui construction contractors who were working in a non-clinical, closed area of Molokai General Hospital and tested positive after their arrival, while working alongside Molokai workers. Here’s what we know so far.

“On Tuesday afternoon, MGH was notified that one of the contractors who had been on Molokai the previous week tested positive for COVID-19 on Maui,” said MGH President Janice Kalanihuia. “We immediately shut down the job and tested the12 people who were on-site at that time. Four of them tested positive and all were immediately sent to their housing here on Molokai to quarantine.”

Kalanihuia confirmed the area of the hospital where they were working was separated and sealed off from patients and hospital staff. The air handling system was disconnected and there was no air exchange between the work area and any parts of the hospital. No hospital staff have tested positive.

However, at this time, Rep. Lynn DeCoite said “the virus has now infected family members and community members.” None of those who have tested positive were vaccinated, she said.

“I know we are all concerned about these recent cases on Molokai.  I am working to ensure that everyone who needs or wants to get tested can get tested so we can stop this outbreak in its tracks,” said DeCoite  “I encourage everyone to try to stay clam and get your information from reputable sources and not the coconut wireless.”

Approximately 15 more people were tested today, May 14, with results pending, DeCoite said.

“This is a reminder for all of us that we still need to be vigilant.   We need to keep wearing masks and social distancing,” said DeCoite “I do encourage those that have not been vaccinated to do so.  The vaccine doesn’t just protect you; it does help protect those around you.” 

She also reminded the community to show aloha, along with strict precautionary measures.

“No matter who ‘brought’ it here, no matter who is infected now, the one thing we need to keep doing is to keep our masks on and socially distance when outside your immediate family or with people whose vaccination status is not certain,” echoed Kalanihuia.

MGH will be holding free mass COVID-19 testing at MGH on Tuesday, May 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. No appointment is needed.

“Molokai General Hospital has spent the last 14 months doing all we can to keep our staff and all of you safe,” said Kalanihuia. “The well-being of our community is paramount. It is heartbreaking that this happened as we are beginning to see things open up a little. Although Molokai General Hospital didn’t cause this, we will be active partners with the state Department of Health in addressing it, and restoring the health and safety of our island.”

Community members are organizing donations for families in quarantine.

Earlier this week, Hiro’s Ohana Grill announced temporary closure for two days after an employee tested positive. The restaurant said today it would extend its closure.

“As we continue to assess the situation involving the positive case at Hiro’s Ohana Grill, our operations will remain closed until further notice,” the business posted on social media. “We apologize for the inconvenience but the safety and well-being of our employees as well as our community is of top priority.”

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