Mayor Victorino announces Public Health Emergency Rules for Maui County
Mayor Michael Victorino announced a number of Public Health Emergency Rules effective as of 7:45 a.m. Friday, March 20, 2020, directed toward limiting the gathering of groups of people and curtailing vehicular transportation except for essential activities or operation of essential business or government functions, such as travel to and from work and medical appointments.
“We need to take dramatic action to limit the spread of this infectious virus,” Mayor Victorino said. “We cannot do this alone, so we’re asking our community to follow these rules and look out for one another as we face this unprecedented crisis.”
The rules require restaurants and cafes that serve food within the premises to close; however, take-out and delivery service may continue.
Bars, nightclubs, theaters, tourist attractions, and other venues where the public gather must remain closed.
Grocery stores, farmers markets, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores and gas stations that engage in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and other household consumer products, gasoline and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences may remain open.
Many stores are voluntarily providing dedicated kupuna shopping periods, especially in the morning hours, for those over 60 or those of any age with medical conditions. The rules require that all stores selling essential goods provide dedicated shopping hours for these higher-risk groups.
Essential activities, which are exempt from the rules, include:
1. Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor;
2. Getting necessary services or supplies for an individual or that individual’s family or household members, such as getting food, pet food, and supplies necessary for staying at home;
3. Engaging in solitary or small group outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, running or golfing provided that you maintain at least six feet of social distancing;
4. Performing work related to operation of an essential business or essential government function (defined below);
5. Caring for a family member in another household;
6. Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, person with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
Exemptions that relate to operation of essential business functions include:
1. Healthcare operations, including home health workers;
2. Essential infrastructure, including construction of housing and operation of public transportation and utilities;
3. Businesses that provide necessities of life for economically disadvantaged individuals and shelter facilities;
4. Pharmacies, health care supply stores, and health care facilities;
5. Gas stations and auto repair facilities;
7. Rubbish collection;
8. Hardware stores, plumbers, electricians, and other service providers necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and businesses;
9. Laundromats and laundry service providers;
10. Businesses that primarily ship or deliver groceries, food, and goods;
11. Childcare facilities providing services that enable essential employees to go to work;
12. Roles required for any Essential Business to “maintain basic operations,” which include security, payroll, and similar activities.
“Although the County will make changes to its normal operations to safeguard employees and the public, the County will remain open to serve our residents and the business community,” said Mayor Victorino. “These rules are necessary not only to address the spread of the virus, but also to allow our first responders, emergency personnel, and medical professionals to perform their critical functions with as much community support as possible.”
Other provisions of the rules include suspension of regular meetings or hearings conducted by boards and commissions, although they may be conducted via alternate methods where possible.
The County is restricting travel on Pilani Highway from Ulupalakua to Kipahulu and on Kahekili Highway from Waihee to Kahakuloa village to local traffic only. The State Department of Transportation is also restricting travel on Hana Highway from Kaupakalua Road to Hana town to local traffic only.
“While we take these actions, I am still encouraging our residents to go outside, go on a walk, get some exercise, and for this purpose, County beach parks will remain open at this time,” Mayor Victorino said. “I continue to ask the public to stop hoarding supplies, help your neighbor and remain calm as we face this crisis together.
“Maui County is on pandemic lockdown and we’re telling all visitors to reconsider their travel to the islands during this emergency. Please help us to keep our communities safe and minimize the spread of the coronavirus.”
General information and resources on COVID-19 (coronavirus) can be found on the County of Maui’s website at mauicounty.gov. For more information and updates, please visit the State DOH website at https://health.hawaii.gov/ and CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/.