12 Positive Cases in Molokai Cluster So Far

Friday, May 14th, 2021

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.…

Free At Last

Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

Opinion by Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

The COVID-related meeting had been slated to happen in Pasqual Hall, the seat of Kalaupapa’s movie theater, originally dedicated in 1916 and rededicated in 2012. However, when morning dawned, we realized that the venue had been switched overnight to the shade of the great banyan tree just off Staff Row. We were not entirely surprised at this change, since this banyan tree has provided the shelter for all of our community meetings since COVID-19 hit our islands. It has been the safe gathering place.

On schedule, our Dept. of Health Administrator, Ken Seamon, appeared before us like Jesus Christ appeared to the apostles in the upper room after his resurrection.…

Sen. English Retires, Molokai Candidates to Vie for Seat

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Longtime Senator Kalani English announced his retirement from the State Senate last week, effective May 1. Meanwhile, Molokai’s Representative Lynn DeCoite has said she will be seeking his seat, along with Walter Ritte, who narrowly lost to DeCoite in the last election.

English served as senator of District 7, Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokai and Lanai, since 2000, having previously served on the Maui County Council since 1997. He cited longterm medical issues resulting from contracting COVID-19 last year as his main reason for retirement.

“In late November 2020, I contracted COVID-19 while with family out of Hawaii,” English said in a statement last week.…

New Incentives to Get Vaccinated

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

No new Molokai cases were logged last week, while vaccination efforts are ramping up, with Molokai General Hospital offering incentives for those who get vaccinated at the hospital.

MGH announced last week it has resumed vaccinations by appointment after hours at the Outpatient Clinic, this time with extra enticement. The hospital is offering free $10 gas cards for all those who get vaccinated at MGH between April 22 and July 31. Additionally, two drawings will be held to win a trip for two to Las Vegas. The first drawing was held on May 3 for the first 1000 individuals that received their vaccine at MGH between Jan.…

Molokai Music Students Release CD

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Molokai Music Students Release CD

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

A group of Molokai musicians of the first ever cohort of students in the University of Hawaii Maui College Institute of Hawaiian Music have released a CD and celebrated with a live streamed concert at Hiro’s ‘Ohana Grill last week.

Over the last two years, the group remained intact through the pandemic and their compilation CD, called Awaiaulu ‘Ia E Ke Aloha No Molokai (Bound Together By Love For Molokai), features nine recordings, seven of which are original compositions by the students.

Natalie Sambajon, Kelly Kaawa Richardson, Lehiwahiwa Ritte, Valerie Temahaga, Po’okela Napoleon, Keakaokalani Kaiama, Daniel Pelekai, Jr.,…

More than 3K Molokai Residents Vaccinated

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Molokai logged two new COVID cases last week for a total of 37 since the pandemic began, according to the Dept. of Health. Meantime, the island’s vaccination numbers are on the rise.

DOH spokesperson Brooks Baehr said last Friday 3,125 Molokai residents have received their first vaccine dose, while 2,460 have gotten their second dose. That means a majority of the approximately 5,000 residents eligible by age on Molokai have been vaccinated.

Mayor Michael Victorino said last week that Molokai is close to nearing what’s considered herd immunity, which occurs when a large portion of a community becomes immune to COVID-19, making the virus’ spread unlikely.…

Kalaupapa Today

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

Opinion by Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

It is 8:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning and the trash collector has just left the church compound. There is still a residue of dew on the grassy lawn but the sun is shining, a slight breeze is blowing and soon that dew will be absorbed into the atmosphere. It would seem like any other Thursday in Kalaupapa but this day is different. It is Holy Thursday and tonight we will observe it like any of the many previous Holy Thursdays over the decades with Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 p.m.…

New Case, J&J Vaccine on Hold, Canoe Races Cancelled

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

One new Molokai COVID-19 case was reported by the Dept. of Health last week, bring the island’s total to 35 cases since the pandemic began.

The Molokai Community Health Center (MCHC) had anticipated offering the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine starting last week but those plans came to a halt when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended pausing administering of the the J&J nationally following six cases being reported of rare and severe side effects. Out of the 6.8 million people in the U.S. who received the J&J vaccine, six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed blood clots, with symptoms occurring six to 13 days after vaccination.…

Mahalo Molokai

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

The Molokai Dept. of Health-Public Health Nursing staff would like to extend their aloha and mahalo to the residents of Molokai for their patience and understanding during these first few months of 2021. Mahalo to all those who came to get their vaccinations at the Dept. of Health vaccine clinics and deepest apologies to those that they were not able to be vaccinated at their clinics. A special mahalo to the following community partners in helping with the Molokai DOH-Public Health Nursing COVID vaccination clinics:

Molokai Fire Department, Molokai AMR, Molokai’s County Parks and Recreation, Molokai Drugs, Inc, Arelene DeRouin, Rhonda Kahalewai, Thyra Habon, Tiffany Rapanot, Dr.…

Health Center Gets Funding

Wednesday, April 14th, 2021

MCHC News Release

Molokai Community Health Center (MCHC) is one of 14 Hawaii Community Health Centers to receive American Rescue Plan funds to expand operations in response to COVID-19 vaccinations, increased testing, preventive and primary care expansion, direct transportation for patient care, including improving physical infrastructure and adding mobile clinic services.

Molokai Community Health Center has been awarded $839,500 of the $31,969,250 American Rescue Plan funds allocated to Hawaii Health Centers.

To further support this work, in late March, The Hawaii Community Foundation has also awarded MCHC $222,500 towards increased COVID-19 vaccination efforts and mobile clinic services to reach patients who are homebound, lack transportation to get to their appointments or seek care, or who may not have adequate broadband or device capability in their neighborhood to receive care by telehealth.…