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Press Releases - COVID19 Updates

Posted on: March 5, 2020

Mayor Michael Victorino issues Public Health Emergency Proclamation on COVID-19

2020-03-04 Public Health Emergency Proclamation

Mayor Michael Victorino issued a Public Health Emergency Proclamation today in response to the recent events revolving around the spread of COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus. This proclamation was released in coordination with the Governor’s Office, along with the counties of Honolulu and Kauai.

“I want to thank our partners in Honolulu, Kauai and Hawaii Island for coming together to take action and prepare our communities for potential impacts from the coronavirus,” said Mayor Victorino. “Our people need to know that their government is doing everything it can to protect public welfare, and this proclamation provides us timely access to resources to assist in preparation of a potential outbreak of the virus. I continue to ask everyone to stay informed through official sources and discourage the spread of misinformation or rumors. I also want to thank the public for doing their part to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when they’re sick.”

This proclamation gives the County of Maui and our statewide partners the ability to take action to suspend any county law that “impedes on tends to impede, or that may be detrimental to, the health, safety and welfare of the public.” While there have been no reported cases of the Coronavirus in Hawai‘i, this proclamation will aid in efforts to prepare for possible spread of the virus.

This proclamation also allows the County of Maui to use public property for the purposes of emergency management. This includes the ability to take proactive measures to promote public health, and remove hardship or obstructions to public health. In addition to the proclamation issued by the County of Maui and Governor’s Office, the City and County of Honolulu as well as the counties of Kauai and Hawaii Island have issued their own proclamations in response to the COVID -19 virus.

“My staff and our local agency partners continue to communicate with the State Department of Health, Governor’s Office and emergency management agencies for status updates and to discuss emergency operations,” Mayor Victorino said. “I want to again, recognize and thank our Maui District Health Office and Dr. Lorrin Pang for their work in Maui County, as well as our emergency response partners for their support.”

There are no reported cases of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi, according to Gov. David Ige’s Office and the State Department of Health. The state’s emergency proclamation authorizes the expenditure of state funds as appropriated for the purchase of supplies and equipment, and the speedy and efficient response to conditions that may be created by COVID-19.

 “Our number one priority is the health and safety of our communities across the state,” Gov. David Ige said. “COVID-19 has prompted the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency of international concern. This emergency proclamation will give us the ability to move more quickly and efficiently in our efforts to protect our communities from the virus and provide emergency relief if, and when it is necessary.”

“I, along with our fellow county Mayors, decided to take this action out of an abundance of caution, and with a desire to do everything in our power to protect public health during this outbreak,” Honolulu City and Council Mayor Caldwell said. “This proclamation will give us access to all resources at our disposal to help aid in curtailing the spread of this virus. We will continue to work closely with all state, county, and federal agencies to keep our residents and visitors safe during this difficult time. We ask that our citizens continue to listen to guidance from the CDC on how to best protect themselves from the spread of infectious disease, and we also ask that everyone be kind to their neighbors. We are all living on this island together, so please do not hoard supplies, or engage in any behavior that could cause harm to the people around you.”

“We will continue to coordinate and work with our partners at the county, state, and federal levels to prepare for any possible impacts in response to COVID-19,” Kauai County Mayor Derek Kawakami said. “I join my fellow mayors and the Governor in leaning forward on this issue to help protect the health and safety of our community.”

The County of Maui’s proclamation will terminate after 60 days, or with the issuance of a Termination of Emergency signed by Mayor Victorino.

This is a rapidly evolving situation, with the State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control taking the lead on coordinating efforts in response to the COVID-19 virus. To subscribe for email updates, visit https://health.hawaii.gov/news/covid-19-updates/.

List of steps residents and visitors can take to help prevent respiratory illness, including the coronavirus, during this flu season:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • A mask can be effective if you are ill and can prevent the spread of your illness. A mask is not effective to wear when you are well and want to protect yourself from someone who is ill.

For a comprehensive list of specific measure you can take, visit:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html#precautions.


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Public Health Emergency Proclamation on COVID-19
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