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New Case, County Seeks Mask Up Volunteers

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

One new Molokai case of COVID-19 was reported last week, bringing the island’s total cases to 27. It was originally miscategorized on Maui, then Dept. of Health records were corrected to list it on Molokai, according to the Feb. 18 report. No other details were available.

A new Mask Up campaign in Maui County aims to boost face mask use. The initiative uses volunteers to serve as community ambassadors who “kindly remind visitors and residents that wearing face masks is mandatory,” according to a Maui County news release last week.

Volunteers will approach unmasked individuals with a copy of Maui County’s Public Health Emergency Rules to explain that mask-wearing is compulsory in all public areas of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Volunteers will also present a new complimentary face mask from the people of Maui County. The County has purchased 80,000 dual-layer face masks using CARES Act funding.

No volunteers or organizations are currently in place for this program on Molokai but Community Liaison Alan Fukuyama, community liaison from the Mayor’s Office, said anyone interested in helping can contact him at (808) 868-6296 and he will send over items to Molokai to help in raising mask awareness.

According to DOH data, proper face mask use in Maui County had reached 96 percent in mid-January, but recently dipped to 88 percent.

“Wearing face masks is one of the best ways to prevent exposure to new variants of COVID-19 and to protect one another while we wait for widespread vaccination,” said Mayor Victorino. “Throughout this entire health crisis, the community has come together to support one another and this is another example of that aloha spirit. We deeply appreciate the volunteers who have stepped up and we invite more to join the effort.”

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