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Molokai Case Increase Slows, Schools Prepare for 2nd Quarter

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Molokai had one new COVID-19 case last week on Sept. 29, logging a total of 19 cases during the pandemic to date.

Molokai schools are on fall break this week but as the second quarter of the school year begins, some schools will continue face-to-face learning while others will stick with a virtual model.

Kilohana and Maunaloa Elementary schools will continue face-to-face learning into the second quarter. Kualapu’u School will resume with a mix of full day, half day and virtual instruction on Oct. 12 after break. Kaunakakai Elementary, Molokai High and Molokai Middle schools will begin second quarter with fully virtual learning.

“At this time, due to ongoing construction, Molokai High does not have the capacity to meet social distancing requirements and safely accommodate the return of over 300 students of face-to-face instruction,” MHS administration wrote in a letter to the school community. “Therefore, with health and safety at the forefront, Molokai High School will continue to do 100 percent distance (virtual) learning to begin the second quarter.”

The letter acknowledged that administration knows “being physically in school with a trained teacher is the best way for most of our students to learn” and added the school will work towards that model as soon as possible.

Mayor Michael Victorino said as of Tuesday, Oct. 6, certain restrictions are being lifted for the county. This includes commercial event operators will be permitted to reopen, which includes restrictions/guidelines for outdoor events such as luaus and weddings. A maximum of 100 people are allowed, for outdoor venues only. Table seating is required, with a max of 10 people per table. Musicians may perform, but no more than 10 on stage and must maintain physical distancing.

Outdoor county courts such as tennis and basketball courts, will be open until 8:00 p.m. County parks and beach parks will remain open from 7 a.m. through 7 p.m. On Maui, movie theaters and bowling alleys are also permitted to open again.

“For the last two weeks, Maui County has averaged less than one case per 100,000 people, and we have just 16 active cases in isolation,” Victorino said. “These are very encouraging numbers and much of it is thanks to our residents and community for wearing their masks, avoiding large gatherings and keeping physical distance. We will need everyone’s continued effort to keep our cases down and push our local economic recovery.”

Victorino said last Friday that Maui County has made several requests to the governor, which are under review. One is to give interisland travelers the option to participate in a pre-travel
testing program so they don’t have to quarantine. Another request would allow Maui County residents traveling interisland for essential work or medical procedures to be exempt from quarantine when they return home. Victorino also suggested the requirement of a post-arrival test for transpacific travelers, in addition to the pre-travel test, a program which begins Oct. 15.

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