(BIVN) – A COVID-19 cluster reported in the fishing village of Miloliʻi has prompted state lawmakers to request the immediate closure of the South Kona community to visitors.
On Wednesday, the office of State Senator Kai Kahele shared a letter written to Mayor Harry Kim, signed by the entire Hawaiʻi island legislative delegation of four state senators and 7 representatives. Kahele has family roots in the fishing village.
The letter reads:
Dear Mayor Kim,
We are requesting the immediate closure of the Miloliʻi Fishing Village in South Kona in light of the recent outbreak of COVID-19. It is our understanding there are at least 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the village and with the upcoming Labor Day weekend, we strongly believe an entry control point be immediately established so that village access is limited to residents only.
The Miloliʻi Fishing Village community of approximately 300 residents has many multigenerational households and because they do not have anywhere else to go, COVID-19 has the potential to spread rapidly to other members in the home. We are also requesting the immediate testing of the entire Miloliʻi Fishing Village by the County of Hawai‘i and/or the Department of Health. In addition, we are requesting that each household be provided adequate personal protective equipment as available by the County of Hawaiʻi. Finally, we recommend educational outreach in the village so that the community realizes the seriousness of the pandemic and the importance of following social distancing and mask wearing rules.
We ask that you implement the closure of Miloliʻi Fishing Village immediately. Your prompt actions will help to contain and control the spread of COVID-19 outbreak within this community especially with the upcoming Labor Day weekend. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
During the 2015 dengue fever outbreak, Miloliʻi Beach Park was closed due to a spike in cases of the mosquito-borne illness in the village.
The County has already announced that public access to Waipi‘o Valley will be closed during Labor Day Weekend, from 7 a.m. on Friday, September 4, through on 7 a.m. Tuesday, September 8, to ensure that valley access is restricted to local traffic only.