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Two New Cases, Vaccine Clinic This Week

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

There were four active COVID-19 cases on Molokai as of Sunday, with the addition of two new cases logged by the Dept. of Health on March 16 and one on March 19, bringing the island’s total cases to 31.

Last week also brought a spike of cases on Maui, which raised concern among officials.

Mayor Michael Victorino expressed frustration on March 18 after receiving the DOH report of 41 new COVID cases in Maui County.

“After reviewing today’s cluster report, it appears the majority of cases are attributed to a new cluster of 24 in a place of worship, eight new cases in an educational setting, additional infections in a cleaning company cluster and two new clusters from bars and nightclubs,” said Victorino. “This is quite different from the community-wide spread we witnessed after the holiday season. This pattern suggests groups of people have become complacent and are not following public health guidelines. Although vaccines are here, herd immunity is still months away. Please continue to wear masks in public and avoid gathering in groups.”

Mayor Victorino added that he is hesitant to order more restrictions that will harm residents and businesses, because the irresponsible behavior seems to be confined to specific settings. However, he continues to assess the situation with the County’s medical advisers.

Meanwhile, the Molokai Community Health Center will be holding a two-day vaccination clinic this week Thursday and Friday. Vaccines will be available free of charge to all Molokai residents ages 18 and older.

MCHC was selected among 12 community health centers in Hawaii to receive vaccines under a federal program to distribute, separate from state allocations. MCHC CEO Helen Kekalia Wescoatt said last week MCHC would be receiving 1000 vaccine doses for Molokai. The rest of the state remains in vaccination phase 1c, focusing on residents aged 65 and older. Wescoatt said last week that “anyone flying in from outside of Molokai in expectation to receive the vaccine sooner here, will be turned away.”

Proof of residency (name with a valid driver’s license, State of Hawaii ID card, utility bill, rental lease, property tax statement, etc.) must be presented to get vaccinated at the clinic this week.

The MCHC vaccine clinic will be open Thursday, March 25 from 1 to 5 p.m. and Friday, March 26 from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. on a walk-in basis with no appointments needed.

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