Mayor Michael Victorino is urging Maui County residents to prepare for arrival of the highly contagious Omicron variant. The mayor has been actively monitoring the state’s recent surge in COVID-19 cases. Of the 797 new cases reported statewide today, 712 cases were confirmed in the City & County of Honolulu. Hawaii Health Director Dr. Libby Char said the state has confirmed 31 cases of Omicron and 17 additional suspected cases all on Oahu.
“Although Maui County has the state’s lowest positivity rate at 1.9% over the past 7 days, it’s just a matter of time before Omicron makes its way here,” explained Mayor Victorino. “I want everyone to enjoy a happy, healthy holiday season so please continue masking up indoors, keep your distance from others, avoid gatherings among different households and wash your hands frequently. Most importantly, please get vaccinated. If you received one dose of Moderna or Pfizer, get the second one. If it’s been six months since your second dose, get your booster right away. I have no plans for additional restrictions at this time, but that will change if our medical facilities are being taxed.”
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, Omicron appears to even more transmissible than the Delta variant that swept through Maui County during the fall. He also said that a booster vaccine dose dramatically increases protection from infection.
Latest data and projections from the Imperial College in the United Kingdom found no evidence that the Omicron variant is less severe than Delta, based upon the proportion of those who tested positive and required hospitalization. Researchers expect to have more conclusive findings about Omicron’s severity within another week or so.
For information on COVID-19 testing or vaccinations, go to www.mauinuistrong.info