During an information-packed news conference Monday, Mayor Michael Victorino and Maui County District Health Officer Dr. Lorrin Pang repeatedly emphasized a single message: To flatten the curve of COVID-19 and prevent Maui hospitals from being overwhelmed by a surge in patients, residents must shelter in place. “Trust me, when I say stay home, I mean stay home,” Victorino said. “If you don’t need to be out, please don’t go out.” Victorino said that, even with 25 reported cases on Maui Monday, “we’re not doing very badly. But I’d like to keep that curve as low as possible.
“I have heard many experts say that this is just a beginning and that a [larger] outbreak is imminent. Let’s prove them wrong…but only you can.” Victorino urged residents to “obey the rules, but common sense and respect will be the only way these rules will be taken care of by you.”
During his presentation, Pang suggested the term “social distancing” was “politically incorrect.” He said “We called it spreading out, when I grew up.” Pang said the current six-foot distance rule was perhaps not a large enough space, saying that “aerosolized” droplets could travel 10 feet. Pang said it would take another month before experts could determine whether social distancing efforts on Maui have worked.
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