Maui experienced its first COVID-19-related death, an older man with underlying health conditions, officials announced Monday.
No additional details were available, but the state’s fifth coronavirus death is the first outside Oahu.
“It is extremely heartbreaking each time we learn of another resident who passes away from this virus,” Gov. David Ige said. “We are reminded daily of the devastating effect this virus is having here at home and across the country, where it is devastating communities in states like New York, Washington, Louisiana and California.”
Ige added, “We can’t let this happen here. We need to stop the spread. We need to stop it now. The coronavirus has no boundaries.”
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino expressed his condolences to the man’s family.
“My heart is heavy with this tragic news,” Victorino said in a statement. “Mrs. Victorino and I offer our deepest condolences to this individual’s family and know that our community will also offer support and love during this difficult time.”
“We want to express our deepest condolences to this individual’s family and friends,” said Mike Rembis, chief executive officer of Maui Health. “We ask our community to continue to rally around each other in support, to respect our mayor’s stay-at-home orders, and adhere to guidelines for social distancing, hand washing and hygiene. We will continue to do our part and protect our patients and staff.“
On Monday the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hawaii rose to 387, with 44 in Maui County.
“Our Maui County ohana is strong and we must support and protect each other,” Victorino said. “Everyone must stay home and only go out in public for essential purposes. Now is not the time for parties and gatherings. If you do have to leave home, make sure you wear a mask and practice social distancing.
“We love this community and our county. I will be with all of you every step of the way through this pandemic, but we’re going to need everyone’s help to keep our families and loved ones safe.”