31 New Cases Last Week
By Catherine Cluett Pactol
Last week was a high case-count week for Molokai, with between one and six new COVID positives each day for a total of 31 new cases between Friday, Sept. 10 and Friday, Sept. 17. Friday, Sept. 10, the Dept. of Health reported five new cases for the island, Saturday had two, Sunday had five, Monday had three, Tuesday had four, Wednesday had one, Thursday had five and Friday closed the week with six new cases. The island is averaging four cases per day, according to DOH, with a total of 202 cases since the pandemic began, as of last Sunday.
For school cases, Molokai High had two positives last week, one reported by the Dept. of Education on Sept. 13 and one on Sept. 14. Molokai Middle had one case reported on Sept. 10.
Maui County’s “Safer Outside” directive has been in effect since Sept. 15, requiring restaurants to ask for proof of vaccination for customers to dine indoors. Unvaccinated people can dine outdoors or order take-out. On Molokai, both Hiro’s Ohana Grill and Paddlers Restaurant have said they qualify as outdoor restaurants. Kanemitsu Bakery and other dine-in eateries now have signage requiring a CDC vaccination card to be seated at a table.
The county is encouraging restaurants to create and use outdoor dining areas to allow physical distancing for patrons and employees “while retaining as many seats as possible.” As long as businesses follow certain guidelines described at mauicounty.gov for doing so, no permits are needed for this outdoor dining. Restaurant employees must wear face coverings while indoors, and customers must wear face coverings at all times while indoors, but may temporarily remove a face covering while actively eating or drinking.
New Maui County rules also limit social gatherings to five indoors and 10 outdoors.
According to the rules, businesses shall refuse to allow entry to persons not wearing face coverings, unless an exception applies under the State’s Proclamation. Businesses not in compliance with any of these Emergency Rules may be subject to enforcement, including fines and mandatory closure. Masks covering nose and mouth are required indoors and in public settings, though not “while outdoors.”
These rules “have the force and effect of law.” Violation of the county rules is punishable as a misdemeanor, with fines of up to $5,000, a maximum of one year in jail, or both.
For full rules, visit mauicounty.gov.