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Maui confirms 1st known case of coronavirus for Molokai

Maui officials confirmed on Thursday the first known case of coronavirus on Molokai.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino said in a news release that a Molokai man who has a history of travel to Las Vegas tested positive for the virus. The man was flown to Oahu for further care, he said.

“I want to let our Molokai residents know that my primary focus and concern continues to be for their health and safety,” Victorino said. “We will do everything we can to support our Molokai community and ensure they receive essential supplies and services. I ask everyone to stay home, practice social distancing and treat each other with aloha during this uncertain time.”

He said the Department of Health is investigating the case and any close contacts the man may have had.

The man is reportedly an employee of the island’s main grocery store, which temporarily closed as a result of the positive test

Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English and state Rep. Lynn DeCoite, who both represent Maui County districts including Molokai, said in a joint statement that quoted Friendly Market Center CEO Kyle Okimoto as saying, “We have temporarily closed the market and will sanitize it before reopening. Our family has served the Molokai community for three years and we will continue to support our Molokai ohana and work together to slow the virus from spreading on our island.”

English said, “This positive test result is deeply concerning to the Molokai community and we are working with Molokaʻi General Hospital to conduct drive-thru screenings for people who came into contact with this person.

“Friendly Market Center is the main grocery store on the island, and we are coordinating with the owners to have them reopen as soon as possible to provide this critical service to the community.”

Rep. DeCoite added: “The person who tested positive for COVID-19 traveled to Las Vegas and returned to Molokai on March 17. The patient is now being treated on Oahu. This reminds us of how important it is to follow the travel quarantine order and self-distancing recommendations, to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus to your friends and loved ones.”

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