UPDATE – (10 a.m.) – We will be updating this story with new information.
(BIVN) – Two women, reportedly claiming to be with the “Hawaiʻi County Assembly of Health and Safety Commission”, are said to be telling shoppers in Puna that face coverings and masks are no longer necessary, Hawaiʻi County officials warn.
The inaccurate information about COVID-19 policies and procedures is coming from “imposters posing to be county officials” in the Puna District, a county news release stated on Friday. The “Hawaiʻi County Assembly of Health and Safety Commission” does not exist, the County says.
From the news release:
Reports claim that two women were seen at multiple businesses in the Puna Kai Shopping Center, allegedly informing employees and patrons that the use of face coverings and masks is no longer necessary, along with other social distancing practices. One report brought to the Mayor’s attention stated that the two imposters claimed to be from the “Hawaiʻi County Assembly of Health and Safety Commission.” No such commission exists. Hawaiʻi County officials are currently investigating the matter.
Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth signed his Sixth Supplementary Emergency Proclamation last Friday, February 12, which extended the current state of emergency through April 12, “maintaining all policies and procedures related to deterring the threat of COVID-19 and is in accordance with the Governor’s Eighteenth Proclamation related to the COVID-19 emergency.”
“It’s disheartening to think that there are folks out there who are trying to trick people into abandoning the practices that have allowed us to keep our [COVID-19] counts some of the lowest in the Nation,” said Mayor Roth in a written statement. “We have done a great job of keeping each other safe and caring for our community in these uncertain times, and I truly believe that we are close to the finish line. As those most vulnerable continue to receive their vaccinations and are deemed truly safe, we will begin to ease restrictions, but we aren’t there just yet.”
The County says anyone encountering similar activity is asked to call the Hawaiʻi County Police Department’s non-emergency line at 808-935-3311.